Universal Credit Transitional Protection: what applies to you in 2022

8 December 2022 by Robin - 8 minutes of reading time

Universal Credit transitional protection

What is Universal Credit Transitional Protection? Will I earn less with Universal Credit? This type of transitional protection allows you to earn the same amount with Universal Credit as you did with benefits and tax credits that it is replacing. In fact, there are certain steps that you need to take to receive the same amount in Universal Credit, or to not stop to receive benefits altogether. Your Benefits will tell you everything you need to know about Universal Credit Transitional Protection.

What is universal credit transitional protection?

Universal Credit is a benefit that is intended to replace a number of benefits. Then, people on other benefits, also known as legacy benefits, would be moved to Universal Credit. This is called managed migration, and you may get transitional protection for the transitional element.

You may have made a claim to uc, or claimed universal credit. Then, you will stop receiving your existing benefit, but only once you start to gain access to your universal credit (uc) award.

If you receive a benefit that is being replaced by Universal Credit, you should not lose any money through the transition. This is true if you circumstances do not change. Then, you should get transitional protection.

Since how much you receive should not decrease through the transition, you benefit from a certain transition protection. In fact, if your Universal Credit award following your managed migration may be less than what you previously received. In this case, you would receive an additional amount: transitional protection.

The additional amount that you would receive through the Universal Credit Transitional Protection should mainly cover the gap between how much you received through your legacy benefit, compared to how much you are paid through Universal Credit.

What benefits is Universal Credit replacing?

What is universal credit transitional protection?

There are a number of benefits being replaced by Universal Credit. In fact, this includes tax credit like Child Tax Credit, as well as Working Tax Credit. Additionally, it includes income-related benefits like the basic schemes of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA).

Other benefits are being replaced by Universal Credit, such as Housing Benefit and Income Support.

When did the Universal Credit Transitional Protection and process start?

The managed protection process started to allow people on legacy benefits to receive Universal Credit instead. The Transitional Protection and process first entered its pilot phase from July 2019 to July 2020.

In March 2020, the trial phase of the Universal Credit Transitional Protection and process was stopped. This was because of the prominence of the Covid-19 pandemic that occurred in the UK in that period.

In Northern Ireland, a similar trial started on July 2019. However, there is a limited number of people that can be transferred through this transitional process. In fact, this amount is 10,000 people. This means that in Northern Ireland, 10,000 people would benefit from the migration process.

Parliament will need to take a vote in the future on this migration process. This will determine if more people will be able to benefit from the Universal Credit Transitional Protection and process.

Originally, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) wanted to apply the Universal Credit Transitional Protection and process to all tax credit and legacy benefit claimants by September 2024. However, the Covid-19 pandemic changed the distribution of the trial. It may be delayed.

Managed migration to universal credit transitional protection

You may be managed migrated to uc, or moved to uc. This means that you would be transferred from a legacy tax credit or benefit. In this process, the Universal Credit Transitional Credit would allow you to not lose any money that you previously got with your benefits.

To receive the same amount in Universal Credit as you got in legacy benefits. In fact, this will be in the form of transitional protection, which will cover how much more you need to receive in your Universal Credit payment to cover how much you hot with your previous benefit.

You do not need to do anything in order for this to apply to you. There is no way that you can apply, apart from applying for Universal Credit directly. However, note that starting to receive Universal Credit will end you receiving other legacy benefits.

However, if you receive a migration notice letter, you will need to do what the letter indicates. If you do not do this, you may no longer get your legacy benefit.

What if I get a migration notice letter?

You may receive a migration notice from the government. Then, you will have 3 months to apply for Universal Credit through the managed migration process. These 3 months start the day on which you receive the letter. 

If you get a migration notice, you will need to transition to Universal Credit. Then, Universal Credit Transitional Protection will be able to apply to you.

If you receive a migration notice, you may be one of the first people to be able to do so. As such, you could receive reminder letter. On top of this, it may be possible to get a one month extension.

You can learn more about the migration process, or ask for an extension. To do so, you can contact the Universal Migration Notice helpline. More specifically, you may call them on 0800 169 0328. They are open from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. Otherwise, you can also do so at your local Jobcentre.

Note that you will only get the Universal Credit Transitional Protection if you apply for Universal Credit within 3 months of getting the migration notice. In fact, if you do not apply within this time period, you may not be able to receive your transitional protection, if it applies to you.

Will I get universal credit transitional protection if I get a migration notice?

Managed migration to universal credit transitional protection

You may receive a migration notice. If that is the case, you will need to do what the letter indicates. In fact, the letter will tell you how to start receiving Universal Credit. Then, Transitional Protection would allow you to not receive less than you previously would. 

You may not have received a migration notice. Then, you do not have to move to Universal Credit. However, the government wants to transition every person on legacy benefits and tax credit by late 2024. However, if you want to transition either way, you can do so anyways.

There are two different types of migration to Universal Credit: natural and voluntary migration. In fact, your situation may change. For example, you may start or leave your job, or have new people move in or leave your household. In this case, you will need to apply for Universal Credit. This is natural migration.

Voluntary migration can be done at any time. For example, you may not have a change of circumstances, but still want to get Universal Credit. Then, you can apply. However, note that you will no longer get your old benefit. On top of this, there will be no way to receive your legacy benefit again.

What is Universal Credit?

Transitioning to Universal Credit may sound good, but you may still not be sure of what it is. In fact, the transitional protection would allow you to get the same amount as you got with previous benefits, but still not know what the benefit entails. 

Universal Credit is a benefit that allows you to cover some day-to-day costs. You receive payments every month, except for those residing in Scotland, who receive payments twice a month.

You may or may not receive Universal Credit. If you already get a legacy tax credit or benefit, and your circumstances did not change, you likely qualify. Otherwise, if you or on a low income, cannot or do not work, or work under certain conditions, then you may apply.

What happens if I apply for Universal Credit?

You may apply for Universal Credit. However, you or your partner may also receive a tax credit. However, if either you or they apply for Universal Credit, both of you will stop receiving Universal Credit. 

Then, you will be able to get a certain amount through Universal Credit. More specifically, you could get the following:

Universal Credit standard allowance rates in 2022
Your personal circumstance Standard allowance rate (per month)
You have a partner, and at least one of you is 25 years or older £509.91 (for the couple)
You have a partner, and you are both younger than 25 years old £403.93 (for the couple)
You are younger than 25 years old and single £257.33
You are 25 years or older and single £324.84
You may have received more money with your legacy benefit. However, you may have received a migration notice. If you follow the instructions, you will get transitional protection. What this means is you will receive an extra amount, roughly equal to the difference between how much Universal Credit you get and how much you got through your legacy benefit.

How to apply for Universal Credit?

There are different ways that you can apply for Universal Credit. If you get a migration notice, you will need to follow the instructions indicated on it. As such, no additional input is required apart from this.

However, if you are applying without such a letter, you can then apply through other means. To learn more, visit the article linked above. Mainly, you can apply online to Universal Credit. It’s the easiest and most straightforward way.
In order to receive and keep receiving Universal Credit, you will need to create and hold to a ‘Claimant Commitment’. You will be able to do this with the help of your work coach.
You can even get help covering childcare costs with Universal Credit. In fact, you could be eligible if you keep track of how much you are paying for childcare, as well as have proof of it.

Robin is a writer for Your Benefits, writing about aids that people may be entitled to. He is currently working on his Master in journalism at the Institut Supérieur de Formation au Journalisme in Lille.

Ask our experts a question

Our algorithm calculates which grants you are eligible to apply for.

Simulate your benefits