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Q: I have been claiming housing benefit for several years but I recently received a letter from the government telling me that I have to make a claim for Universal Credit. What should I do?
The following means-tested benefits are ending and are being replaced by a single means-tested benefit called Universal Credit:
Tax credits: Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit
Housing Benefit
Income Support
Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
Benefits such as PIP and Attendance Allowance are not affected by this change.
The process is known as ‘managed migration’ and the letter you have received is called a ‘migration notice’. Most households claiming tax credits and no other means-tested benefit have already been contacted. The government says that, over the coming year, it plans to issue migration notices as follows;
From April: Income Support claims and Tax Credits with Housing Benefit claims
From June: Housing Benefit only claims
From July: income-based Employment and Support Allowance with Child Tax Credit claims
From Sept-ember: Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance claims
The government has also said that, from August onwards, it plans to contact people who are claiming tax credits but who are over state pension age and ask them to apply for either UC or Pension Credit (depending on the make-up of their household).
To continue receiving financial support you must claim Universal Credit by the deadline date given in your letter. This is 3 months from the date the letter was sent out. You should make a claim online via the government website. You need to create an account to make a claim. You must complete your claim within 28 days of creating your account or you’ll have to start again.
If you cannot claim Universal Credit by the deadline date, you should contact the Universal Credit Migration Notice helpline on 0800 169 0328 as soon as possible. You may be able to get more time to make a claim if you have a good reason. You must request this before the deadline date on your letter. There is lots more information about this process on the government website.
If you need help to make a UC claim, contact the Citizens Advice Help to Claim Service either online at or by phone on
0800 144 8 444.

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