Stirling MP Warns Over Changes to Housing Benefit and Income Support

Published:

Categories: Benefits, , Universal Credit

UK Government Universal Credit Rollout Continues this April 

Local MP Alyn Smith has urged Stirling residents in receipt of certain social security benefits to take action, or risk losing support – as the Department for Work and Pensions continue their rollout of Universal Credit.

The ‘managed migration’ process will affect families claiming income support – 142 unpaid carers and lone parents on income support in Stirling are due to receive their migration notice before July. Housing benefit claimants will also start to be moved to Universal Credit this month.

Recipients will be sent a migration notice by the DWP telling them that their legacy benefit awards will end and that they must make a claim for Universal Credit to continue to get support. The deadline for claiming must be at least three months from the date of the migration notice, and it can be extended if there is a good reason.

Alyn Smith MP said:

‘The rollout and development of Universal Credit has been deeply difficult for families and households across Stirling – and this latest deadline could pose a challenge during this cost of living crisis. Social security is an investment in people and communities. Under the Tories, benefits in the UK are comparatively low by international standards with one of the lowest benefit rates relative to earnings. The basic rate of Universal Credit is worth around a sixth of average weekly pay, according to the Trades Union Congress.

‘Whilst I understand this remains a process, I urge the DWP to take seriously the concerns of the Child Poverty Action Group and others, and slow down the pace of roll-out to ensure maximum support for claimants impacted. We also need to see a sustained uplift in state support for independent, third-party advice services like the Citizens Advice network, to ensure people can claim the support they’re entitled to in a time of ever increasing bills and insecurity.’

Notes:

Support is available for claimants from the migration notice helpline, online guidance, and the Help to Claim service. Citizens Advice Scotland also has guidance here.

If a person has not claimed Universal Credit by their deadline, but does so within one month, they are treated as having claimed on time and can still get transitional protection in their Universal Credit award.

A person’s entitlement to legacy benefits/tax credits ends when they claim Universal Credit, or on the day before their deadline if they have not claimed Universal Credit. Income Support, income-based JSA, income-related ESA and Housing Benefit continue to be paid for two weeks after entitlement ends, however.