Only read this guidance if you get a Migration Notice letter

If you have not received a Migration Notice letter visit the Universal Credit guidance.

To continue getting financial support, you must claim Universal Credit by the date in your letter.

Benefits that are ending

  • Tax Credits: Working Tax Credits and Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

This process is called a 'managed migration' and is the final part of the roll out of Universal Credit.

Once you switch to Universal Credit you cannot move back to one of the older benefits so it is best to get independent advice before making a new claim.

For help and support contact our Money Matters Team on Freephone 0800 027 7769.

You can also contact the DWP UC Migration Notice Helpline on 0800 169 0328 (calls are free from mobiles and landlines), they are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.

Additionally you can call the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) Help to Claim Advisors on 0800 144 8848. The CAB Help to Claim phone service is free to use and is open 8am to 6pm, Mon to Fri.

Try our free benefits calculator to help you figure out what you may be entitled to. 

Benefits Calculator

Information on moving to Universal Credit from

Managed Migration General FAQS

  • What is Managed Migration?

    The Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) will send those who are still claiming legacy benefits, listed above, a Migration Notice.

    This is a letter notifying them that their legacy benefit entitlement is due to end and inviting them to claim UC instead.

  • Get yourself ready for Universal Credit

    You will need to verify your identity as part of your claim. It is easiest to do this online. ID is commonly a Passport or Drivers Licence, so if you have these make sure you have them to hand, however there are other ways to verify your identity. Call the Universal Credit helpline for more information on 0800 328 5644.  

    Ideally you will have a bank account for your Universal Credit to be paid into. If you don’t have one already, you can get information about setting up a basic bank account here: Best basic bank accounts - Which?

    Universal Credit is designed to be managed online. If you haven’t already, set yourself up an email account and get digitally included. More info here: Create a Google Account - Google Account Help

    You can also get more information about support with developing your IT skills here: Get online through your local library 

    Get online through your local library | Help with getting online, computers and the internet | Rochdale Borough Council


    If you can’t meet these conditions, you can still claim but we can help guide you through this, so get in touch for this support to prevent gaps in your benefit payments or a delay in receiving your UC. You can also ring the UC helpline or speak to Citizens Advice. 

    If you use benefits to help pay your rent we strongly recommend you try to build some credit on your rent account, so if there are any delays in payments when you move to or start to claim Universal Credit you won’t go into rent arrears. Anything extra you can pay on top of your usual rent payment will help. Please speak to us if you want to discuss this or ways to pay extra money on to your rent account. 

    Once you start to claim UC you can access a range of support and help from your Work Coach at the DWP, but if you ever want our help we always here for you, just ask. 

  • What is Universal Credit?

    Universal Credit is a benefit for working aged people designed to simplify the welfare system. It combines the six legacy benefits into one single payment. It is designed to give you a minimum level of income based on your individual circumstances. It is for people who are working, looking for work, or unable to work due to an illness / disability or caring responsibility.

    The six legacy benefits are: Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit, Income-Based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Income Support, and Income-Based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA).

  • When will I need to claim Universal Credit?

    You should only need to claim Universal Credit if you have been sent a Migration Notice or have a change in your circumstances that would normally mean you would be looking to make a new claim for one of the benefits that Universal Credit is replacing. Always get advice (see above) before making a claim for Universal Credit – even if you think you will be better off.

  • When will I receive my first payment?

    As long as you provide all the necessary evidence, attend your new claim interview, agree your claimant commitment, and complete all the to-dos and actions the DWP have asked you to complete, then you should receive your first payment around 5 weeks after you claimed.

  • I am going to struggle until I receive that first payment - is there any help available?

    If you need help whilst waiting for your first Universal Credit payment, once you have verified your ID, then you can request an Advance Payment of your Universal Credit. This is an advance of your future award of your living costs and rent payment, and so you will pay it back over time through deductions from your on-going Universal Credit payments.

  • How often is Universal Credit paid?

    Universal Credit is a monthly benefit. You will receive your Universal Credit payments on or around the same date every month.

    Once you know what this date will be you may want to start thinking about when your regular payments go out of your bank account.

  • What if I'm going to struggle with monthly payments?

    The date of your first payment cannot change but you may be able to be paid more frequently.

    Explain the difficulties you are going to have to your work coach. If agreed the DWP usually pay half of your UC award on your normal pay day, and then twice monthly, this is 24 payments a year. 

  • Why can't I stay on tax credits?

    The DWP have made the decision that Tax Credits are ending and being replaced by Universal Credit. If you receive a Migration Notice, then this letter will give you the date that your Tax Credits are due to end. Staying on Tax Credits is not an option. 

  • What if I don't want to claim Universal Credit?

    Once you are chosen for Managed Migration, the DWP will send you a letter - called a Migration Notice - and your legacy benefit will end whether you make a claim for Universal Credit or not.

Migration Notice and Deadlines

Steps to make the move onto Universal Credit

Step 1: Receive your Migration Notice
If you have received a Migration Notice, then your legacy will be ending soon - the date is in this notice.

Step 2: Get advice
There’s lots to consider, so you are best seeking advice (from a Benefits Adviser). They can chat through the best time for you to make your claim for Universal Credit, whether you might be entitled to some Transitional Protection, how to make a successful claim  and any new responsibilities you are likely to have.

Step 3: Get ready to claim
It is essential that you make a successful claim for Universal Credit. So knowing what’s involved and gathering all the information and evidence needed is important.

Step 4: Make a successful claim at the right time
When you have decided the best time to claim and have everything prepared to make a successful claim, then it’s time to go online and make the claim. If you are going to struggle, help is available.

Step-by-step guide to making a Universal Credit Claim from DWP. (

Step 5: First payment of Universal Credit
You’ll receive your first payment of Universal Credit around 5 weeks after you make your claim . Check that it is correct - mistakes can be made and it is better to spot these early on. If you will find it difficult to manage whilst you wait for this first payment, think about requesting an Advance Payment.

Step 6: Managing your ongoing Universal Credit award
If you have made an online claim for Universal Credit, then you will manage this online too. Login regularly to see if you have any ‘to-dos’, report any changes, report childcare payments and check your Universal Credit payment statements. Watch for texts (and emails) too and make sure you respond to these promptly.