Five DWP benefits to be scrapped by end of 2024 as claimants get switched to Universal Credit

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The Department for Work and Pensions is slowly swapping benefits claimants over to Universal Credit

Five benefits are due to be axed over the coming months as claimants get switched over to Universal Credit.

The move is part of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to simplify the welfare system and is due to be completed by the end of 2024. The process was paused during the Covid-19 pandemic, but it got underway again in May this year.

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The government voted to end the legacy benefit system in 2012 stating that the new Universal Credit system would be better “suited to the 21st century”. It said the change is needed as the benefits all possess “complex and inefficient systems” that are based on “ageing and inflexible IT systems”.

The five benefits set to change to Universal credit by the end of 2024 are:

  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income Support
  • Housing Benefit

Claimants who receive Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) will also move over to Universal Credit, but not until 2028. The government has also postponed its plans to replace Housing Benefit for pensioners with a new housing element of Pension Credit until 2028.

The DWP is slowly swapping benefits claimants over to Universal Credit (Photo: Adobe)The DWP is slowly swapping benefits claimants over to Universal Credit (Photo: Adobe)
The DWP is slowly swapping benefits claimants over to Universal Credit (Photo: Adobe) | Adobe

Most people can no longer make a new claim for five benefits in line to be scrapped and must apply for Universal Credit as a result. Once a Universal Credit claim is made, the old style benefits will stop and claimants will have to wait five weeks for their first new payment to arrive. Some previous benefits will ‘run on’ for a few weeks to help bridge the gap between the changes, but tax credit payments will stop as soon as people claim Universal Credit.

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People claiming certain legacy benefits do not need to wait until they are notified to be moved onto Universal Credit. Anyone who thinks they will be better off with Universal Credit is urged to make the move right away.

Will benefits claimants be better off on Universal Credit?

Benefits claimants are being urged to check their entitlement for Universal Credit using an independent benefits calculator, as not everyone will be better off on Universal Credit.

The DWP claims 1.4million people will get more money being on Universal Credit while 300,000 will see no change. However, as many as 900,000 people could be worse off. Anyone who is worse off will get top-up payments from the DWP to ensure they receive the same amount as before. These payments will then continue unless their circumstances alter.

Those who are unsure if they would be better off are being advised to wait to be moved as the transitional protection top-up payments only apply to claimants moved by DWP.

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Universal Credit claimants to get pay boost

Millions of households on benefits, including Universal Credit, will get a payment boost worth hundreds of pounds next year, Jeremy Hunt confirmed in his autumn statement.

The Chancellor said state pension and other benefits will increase in line with inflation and will help 10 million working age families. It will come into effect in April 2023 and boost the payments for the average family on Universal Credit by £600 a year.

The current standard allowance for single claimants over the age of 25 is £334.91 a month.Based on the September inflation rate of 10.1%, these payments will increase by £33.83 a month to around £368.74.

This works out as an extra £405.96 a year. Meanwhile, the single allowance if you live with a partner and either of you is 25 or over is £525.72 for both. It means a 10.1% rise will increase the monthly payments by £53.09 to £578.82, but how much extra you will get per month depends on your current benefit level.

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