Moving claimants to Universal Credit from other working age benefits
While the LITRG welcomes the opportunity to respond to this consultation, we are disappointed that the DWP has not considered the different options available to move legacy benefit claimants to universal credit (UC), considering the importance and sheer magnitude of the managed migration process. We urge the Government to delay the start of managed migration and consult further on other options for migration, including an automatic transfer option.
In addition, there needs to be absolute certainty that the system can deal with increased volume of claimants in terms of IT capability, UC service centre telephone capacity and work coach capability. At present we believe the timescale to be too ambitious considering the number of unknowns in how the process will work – we cannot see how it will be possible to get all of the required IT, communication products, staff guidance and training, and support services promised in place in time to start proper testing in January 2019.
Any delay in managed migration means that more claimants will naturally migrate and miss out on transitional protection. We are supportive of the plans to delay the move of certain claimants in receipt of the severe disability premium to UC until transitional protection is in place – but there are other groups in a similar position who also merit this protection. If there is any delay to managed migration we think it would be necessary to also delay natural migration either for everyone or for other groups who will lose out upon moving to UC.
If the migration does go out ahead as proposed, LITRG’s response notes a number of changes that should be made to the Regulations to provide more safeguards for claimants.
The Social Security Advisory Committee consultation document can be found on GOV.UK.
Our response can be found here: Moving claimants to Universal Credit from other working age benefits – LITRG response