Upcoming changes to legacy benefits
30 May 2023
We’re continuing to provide residents the support they need during the current cost of living situation. We still hope to see a reduction in inflation along with a reduction in the cost of living in next few months. Our Welfare team are always here to help and can work with you to ensure you’re getting all the benefits you may be entitled to, and to help you understand any changes in your benefits.Dianne Challis, Welfare Advice Team Leader
We recently shared information about the increase in most benefit rates, but we understand that for people already living on very low incomes, even a 10.1% increase does not make it easier to cover household costs, especially when the price of essentials has increased by at least double that. The benefit cap also increased along with benefit rates, but with inflation as it is, we often speak to residents who have not seen any real change in their situation.
There is an upcoming change that will affect those on what we call legacy benefits which are Income Support, Working or Child Tax Credits, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance and some Housing Benefit recipients. These were the main benefits available before the Government introduced Universal Credit in 2012, which combined all legacy benefits into one monthly payment. Some people receiving these benefits will find themselves being transferred over to Universal Credit over the next couple of years. This change is currently taking place in one local authority area at a time, and it is believed that this will begin with those receiving Tax Credits.
If you receive the legacy benefits listed above currently, it's really important that as soon as you get a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions about this change, you follow the instructions they provide. This is to ensure that you are transferred to Universal Credit as smoothly as possible. The transfer to Universal Credit is not something that recipients can opt-out of as the Government has made the decision to move people from legacy benefits over to the Universal Credit system.
How we can help
Our Welfare team are here to help minimise any difficulties you may experience during this process. If you are not sure what you need to do, please contact us and you will be transferred to the relevant team to support you with this.
More cost of living support
To support residents through the rising cost of living, we’ve set up a dedicated cost of living section of our website. In this section you can find a breakdown of cost of living support available to you, as well as more specific information, advice and support on rising energy prices, reducing the amount of energy you need to pay for, and managing your money.