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Luton Borough Council

Universal Credit Migration

This guidance is only for people who have received a Migration Notice

To continue getting financial support, you must claim Universal Credit by the deadline date on your Migration Notice.

For everyone else, visit the Universal Credit guidance.



The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has begun moving people from legacy benefits to Universal credit. This is known as Managed Migration.

Universal Credit Managed Migration will start in Luton in February 2024. You need to move to Universal Credit if you’ve received a Migration Notice, as one or more of your benefits will be ending soon.

Find out more about managed migration from Universal Credit if you receive a Migration Notice letter on GOV.UK.

Universal Credit Migration Notice

Look out for a letter called a Universal Credit Migration Notice from the DWP explaining what you’ll need to do and by when.

If you're claiming tax credits and are aged 65 or over, the DWP will write to ask you to apply for Universal Credit or Pension Credit, depending on your circumstances. 

You won't be moved to Universal Credit automatically, so you must act quickly and follow the instructions in the letter. Otherwise, your benefits will stop.

To continue receiving financial support, you must claim Universal Credit by the deadline in your letter, even if you've just renewed your tax credits claim.

There are plenty of things you can do to prepare. Tax credits are ending: Understanding Universal Credit has information about the steps you can take and further support.

Do I have to move to Universal Credit?

If you get a Migration Notice letter described above, you do not have a choice.

You should not ignore it. You must claim Universal Credit by the deadline on the letter. Your other 'legacy benefits' will normally stop after 3 months.

If you cannot claim Universal Credit by the deadline date, you should contact the Universal Credit Migration Notice helpline as soon as possible.

Why should I claim Universal Credit?

You should claim Universal Credit to protect things like:

  • your income 
  • free school meals
  • help with prescriptions
  • cost of living payment

What else should I claim?

If you need help paying your Council Tax, we have a Council Tax Reduction (CTR) scheme. These payments are not included in Universal Credit - you need to claim this from us. Please visit our CTR page.

This means that, if you’d get less on Universal Credit than your old benefits, you’ll get an extra amount to make up the difference.

Will I be worse off on Universal Credit? 

If you claim Universal Credit before the deadline, the DWP might pay you extra to stop you being worse off. This is called ‘transitional protection’.

Transitional protection also means you might be able to get Universal Credit when you wouldn’t usually be entitled to it. If you:

  • are a full-time student who wouldn’t usually get Universal Credit, you can usually get it until the end of your course
  • get tax credits and have over £16,000 savings, you can get Universal Credit for up to a year

You will not get this protection if you choose to move to Universal Credit before you receive your migration notice.

Benefit calculators

Use an independent benefits calculator to estimate how much you could get on Universal Credit. These are free to use and anonymous.

Other things you should know

Moving to Universal Credit can cause problems for people. Here are some things you might need to think about:

  • Universal Credit is paid monthly in arrears
  • you must wait at least five weeks for the first payment after a new claim
  • you're expected to claim and manage Universal Credit online
  • the help with rent is paid with your Universal Credit and you have to pay the rent yourself to the landlord
  • there are more work-related requirements in Universal Credit
  • after a new claim for Universal Credit, old tax credit arrears may be deducted from your Universal Credit

Further support and guidance

  • Universal Credit Migration Notice helpline: 0800 169 0328*
  • Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 169 0328*
* 0800 phone numbers are free to call from mobiles and landlines.

Help to claim

You can also get free support from the Citizens Advice Help to Claim service.

Useful link

© 2024 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ