Universal credit: Existing tax credit claimants

This section of the website looks at how existing tax credit claimants are affected by the roll-out of Universal Credit (UC).

At present, existing tax credit claimants are not affected by UC. From July 2019, DWP started testing the processes they will use (called 'managed migration') to move existing tax credit claimants across to UC. The rules for this test phase allow for up to  10,000 tax credit claimants to be moved to UC during the pilot. It had been expected that the pilot would be scaled up from November 2020 so that by December 2023 remaining tax credit claimants would have been moved to UC (where that is possible). In February 2020, it was announced that the full migration process would take longer than expected and would be complete by September 2024. In March 2020, the pilot to test the processes was suspended due to the impacts of the Coronavirus outbreak in the UK and the timetable for migration is currently uncertain. We explain the latest information in our managed migration section.

The only way existing tax credit claimants can move to UC before that exercise happens is through 'natural migration'. This can only happen if:

We explain more about how tax credit claims are brought to an end in these situations in our making a universal credit claim section. We also consider what happens if someone accidentally or mistakenly claims UC.

We explain which changes of circumstances will end a tax credits claim and require a UC claim in our changes of circumstances section.

Finally, we look at how HMRC finalise tax credit claims for someone moving to UC in our finalising tax credits claims section and what happens to tax credit debt when someone moves to UC in our tax credits debt section.

Last reviewed/updated 2 June 2020