Work and Pensions Committee – Universal Credit natural migration inquiry
The current 6 year delay in the roll out of universal credit (UC), along with numerous system changes and poor communication, has made the situation for claimants and their advisers very difficult. LITRG are seriously concerned about recent changes to the UC system that have been confirmed on the day they are going live, with little advance information for organisations who support claimants, making it impossible to provide accurate and timely advice, and is of concern as we head towards managed migration.
Changes are also not being considered fully or holistically, having been made as a result of mounting pressure and/or court action, and lead to a system that is confusing. It also potentially leads to unfairness when some groups are protected but others are not.
We have also been contacted by people who have been incorrectly advised by DWP or HMRC to claim UC, who have inadvertently claimed UC and found themselves worse off and by people who are considering future changes but want to understand the impact on their benefits. We recommend that the legislation is changed to allow those who have been incorrectly advised to claim UC and who are worse off as a result, to go back to legacy benefits.
To keep abreast of all these complications/issues, LITRG recommend that DWP set up a national stakeholder forum to allow representative bodies to raise issues and exchange information with DWP to enable discussion about policy and operations.
Finally, LITRG recommend stopping natural migration for existing benefit claimants.
Our submission can be found here: Universal Credit natural migration inquiry – LITRG response