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 the roll-out of UC. From July 2019, DWP will start testing the processes they will use (called 'managed migration') to move existing tax credit claimants across to UC. It is expected that 10,000 tax credit claimants will be moved to UC during the testing phase. Between November 2020 and December 2023, remaining tax credit claimants will be moved to UC (where that is possible). We explain the latest plans in our managed migration section.
The only way existing tax credit claimants can move to UC before that happens is through 'natural migration'. This can only happen if:
- they choose to make a UC claim
- they have a change in circumstances that ends their tax credit award but they need to continue claiming support (e.g. change from joint to single household) and they are not prohibited from claiming UC
- they need to make a claim for another benefit that has been replaced by UC. For example, a tax credit claimant who needs to make a claim for help with their rent would have claimed housing benefit. However, housing benefit (in most cases, although there are some exceptions) has been replaced by UC. So to access help with their rent they would need to make a UC claim which in turn will end their tax credits claim.
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 8 January 2019 Published 8 January 2019