Big change for 220,000 households on housing benefit starting in WEEKS

A HUGE change is coming for 220,000 households on housing benefit which could see them lose £1,000s if they fail to act.
Households claiming this legacy benefit will be asked to move to Universal Credit in April.

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Over two million people are still on old-style legacy benefits including housing benefitCredit: Alamy

Refuse to do so and you could miss out on £1,000s worth of cash to help with essential bills and the general cost of living.
Housing benefit is given to households who are struggling to pay their rent due to unemployment or low-income.
But the government plans to move all two million claimants on legacy benefits to Universal Credit (UC) or pension credit by the end of March 2025, under a process known as managed migration.
This is because Universal Credit was set up to replace legacy benefits.

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Households on Universal Credit who need help paying rent can get support through the “Housing Element” of the benefit.
The managed migration process began in May last year after a successful pilot in July 2019.
Eligible households are being contacted via letters in the post which tell them how to make the move from tax credits to Universal Credit.
Once you receive a letter, you have three months to move over, or you could lose your current benefits.

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Thousands of households receiving tax credits-only have already received these notices.
But in a recent written statement, the government has now announced its plans to contact those on other legacy benefits.
This will start with income Support claimants and those claiming tax credits with housing benefit from April.
Housing benefit-only claimants will then be contacted in June.

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Anyone getting Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) along with child tax credits will start being asked to switch from July.

Meanwhile Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) claimants are being contacted from September.
The Sun previously reported that those claiming tax credits who are over state pension age will be asked to apply for either Universal Credit or pension credit from August.
Those claiming income-related ESA alone will not be moved until 2028.
In 2024/25 the DWP estimates that around 440,000 will be contacted, with a breakdown as follows:

Tax credits and housing benefit – 120,000
Income support – 110,000
Housing benefit only – 100,000
Income-based ESA with child tax credits – 90,000
Income-based JSA – 20,000
Tax credits only – 10,000

Experts have previously warned that managed migration poses a risk to vulnerable people who face losing money.

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