Thank you for your email about the managed migration of claimants from the legacy system to Universal Credit (UC).
I firmly believe that UC is a fair benefit that protects vulnerable claimants. As UC is a simpler, more accurate benefit based on up-to-date information, it will provide people with their full entitlement. This means that 700,000 people will receive on average an extra £285 per month which they have not received under the existing system. Around a million disabled claimants will gain on average £110 a month through UC, because their award is higher through UC than legacy benefits.
UC will help 200,000 more people into work when fully rolled out, and empower people to work an extra 113 million hours a year. You might be interested to know that people on UC spend around 50 per cent more time looking for a job than they did under JSA. Since 2010, we have seen over 3.3 million people move into work, which is on average 1,000 people each and every day. And youth unemployment has plummeted by over 50 per cent.
As part of their 'testing and learning' approach, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been working closely with stakeholders and other parties to design the best possible process for the migration of people from the old benefits system to UC.
This will include a variety of communication formats including, face-to-face, internet and postal notification, to ensure people are aware of the managed migration process. Work Coaches will also be fully prepared to ensure that claimants move smoothly onto Universal Credit.
Draft Regulations will come before Parliament later this year, with the managed migration process starting later in 2019 and will be tested and refined before larger volumes start from 2020 until completion in 2023.
Transitional Protection will be provided for those moved through managed migration. This means that at the point of moving to Universal Credit, people's incomes will be protected. This includes support for around 500,000 people who are eligible for a Severe Disability Premium.
There will be flexibility to extend the transition period for people alongside a process to ensure that staff check for evidence of complex needs or vulnerability or disability before existing benefits are stopped. Furthermore, if someone misses their deadline to make a claim, there are provisions in the draft Regulations for the DWP to back-date their claim.
For people with capital exceeding £16,000 who are moved onto UC, any capital which exceeds the limit will be disregarded for 12 months. This will affect around 50,000 people. It has been calculated that approximately 50 per cent have capital greater than £40,000.
I will be following the managed migration process very closely to ensure that people move smoothly into the new system, and I will support improvements when necessary.