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Universal Credit (UC) is gradually replacing tax credits, and some other social security benefits. Universal credit is now available across the UK and HMRC state that it is no longer possible for anyone to make a brand-new claim for tax credits. The only exception is for certain people who are granted refugee status. Instead, people are expected to claim UC or pension credit depending on their circumstances.  Currently, existing tax credit claimants can continue to renew their tax credits and/or add extra elements to their claim. See our existing tax credit claimants page for more information. Our understanding is that the majority of existing tax credit claimants will move to either universal credit or pension credit by the end of the 2024/25 tax year. You can find out more about this in our universal credit section. 

Updated on 6 April 2024

Managed migration

Managed migration is where DWP/HMRC formally invite claimants from tax credits (and other legacy benefits which universal credit is placing) to make a claim for universal credit under formal migration rules.

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Although this exercise is referred to as ‘managed migration’, you should be aware that you will not be automatically transferred over to universal credit but you will be issued with a migration notice and will need to make your claim for universal credit (or have someone act for you in doing so) by the date specified in the notice. You can read more about the timescales for migration on our migration timetable page and about the process on our migration process page.

If you have reached your state pension credit qualifying age (or both you and your partner have both reached that age) and currently claim tax credits, DWP say they will contact you from August 2024 and ask you to claim either universal credit or pension credit depending on your circumstances. Full details of this part of the migration are not yet available. Most mixed age couples will also be included in the move to universal credit but there are some complexities for those exception cases who would be entitled to claim pension credit. Further information is awaited from DWP as to how mixed-age couples will be migrated to either universal credit or pension credit. We have more information for those who have reached state pension credit age or who are part of a mixed age couple on our existing tax credit claimants page.

Some people may remain on tax credits until the tax credit system completely ends as they are not permitted to claim universal credit or pension credit. Eventually the tax credit system will no longer exist and so their claims will end.

The main difference between moving from tax credits to universal credit under the formal migration process is that those moving under managed migration may receive transitional protection.

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