‘Move to UC’ to begin next week

Date published: 13 October 2023

The final phase of Universal Credit (UC) implementation across Northern Ireland will begin next week for those in receipt of tax credits and no other benefits.

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The ‘Move to UC’ will start on Monday (October 16) when Migration Notice letters will begin to issue across all postcodes to Working Tax Credits and/or Child Tax Credits recipients who receive no other benefit.

Universal Credit has been in place here since September 2017, replacing new claims to Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment & Support Allowance, Housing Benefit (rental) and tax credits.

The final stage of the ‘Move to UC’ involves moving those who are still in receipt of the benefits and tax credits being replaced by Universal Credit. 

Deputy Secretary of Work and Health at the Department for Communities, Paddy Rooney said:

“We are approaching the final implementation stage of UC with the utmost care.

“We will closely monitor the impact of implementation and ensure that all of the proper help, advice and support is available to everyone throughout the ‘Move to UC’ process.”

Migration Notice letters will be issued from the Department explaining what people need to do and will include signposting to help for those who need it.

Working Tax Credits and/or Child Tax Credits recipients who receive no other benefit do not need to do anything unless they receive a Migration Notice letter from DfC.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Move to UC Delivery Team can be contacted on Freephone 0800 012 1331, Textphone 0800 012 1441 (for deaf users, those with hearing loss and users with speech and communication needs) and a UC Video Relay Service is available for sign language users. Information will also be available online at nidirect and through local Jobs & Benefits offices. 
  2. Based on February 2023 data there are 71k households in receipt of an eligible benefit which will be replaced by Universal Credit during the current Move to UC, including 34k households in receipt of tax credits only.
  3. Universal Credit is a working age payment for people over 18 but under State Pension age who are on a low income or out of work. It includes support for the cost of housing, children and childcare, and financial support for people with disabilities, carers and people too ill to work.
  4. UC is being implemented here in line with the policy agreed by the Northern Ireland Executive.
  5. In November 2022, as part of his autumn statement, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt announced that the managed migration of claimants on Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance, except for those receiving Child Tax Credit, will now take place in 2028 rather than the original rollout date of 2024. Those impacted by that decision include: People in receipt of Income-Related ESA only; and People in receipt of Income-Related ESA and Housing Benefit
  6. DfC will align with DWP and aim to complete migration of the remaining benefits listed by March 2025: Working and Child Tax Credits (including people in receipt of Tax Credits and ESA); Job Seekers Allowance (Income-Related); Income Support (Income-Related); Housing Benefit (Income-Related)
  7. Media enquiries to Press Office
  8. Follow us on X @CommunitiesNI
  9. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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