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Our response to the Social Security Advisory Committee's consultation into the managed migration regulations

18 October 2018

This briefing paper [ 99 kb] summarises Citizens Advice's recommendations for managed migration and our response to the regulations as currently proposed. You can read our full response to the Social Security Advisory Committee here [ 350 kb].

Universal Credit (UC) is the biggest ever change to the welfare system. Over 7 million households will be receiving UC by the time it is fully rolled out, more than half of whom will be in work. From 2019, the Government intends to start the final and biggest phase of UC rollout -  moving people currently on legacy benefits over to UC. This process is known as ‘managed migration' and will affect an estimated 2.8 million people.

Delivering reform on this scale is always going to present challenges. However, aspects of the design and delivery of UC add to the complexity of this process.

The key challenges are:

  • UC brings together 6 legacy benefits into one single payment, meaning any errors during migration could put people's entire income from benefits at risk.

  • Those being migrated are likely to have higher support needs than those who have claimed UC so far - this includes 1 in 3 (36%) claimants due to be migrated who are disabled or have a long-term health condition.

  • Managed migration will require the DWP to communicate the process effectively to all claimants - including people who claim tax credits or disability benefits and have had little or no engagement with the Jobcentre in recent years.

We support the aims and principles of UC and therefore welcome the Government's commitment to working with partner organisations to understand where improvements are needed. We recommend that any process for managed migration follow the following principles:

  1. The burden of migration should not fall wholly on individuals

  2. Managed migration must not result in a sudden loss of income for claimants

  3. People must be supported through the migration process

  4. Transitional protection must be in place for people who face losses as a result of moving to UC

  5. A clear framework for success should be established to set targets and review points for moving people onto UC