Tax credit only recipients urged to take action on ‘Move to UC’ migration notices

Date published: 09 July 2024

The Department for Communities is encouraging tax credit only recipients who have received a ‘Move to UC’ migration notice to take action in relation to their letter, highlighting the support available to do so.

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The final stage of the ‘Move to UC’ is underway with the phased migration of those still in receipt of benefits and tax credits being replaced by Universal Credit (UC).

Tax credits will end in April 2025 and recipients must make a UC claim if they are to continue to receive financial support.

Migration Notice letters have now been sent to all tax credit only recipients who have three months from the date of their letter to make a UC claim.

The Department is also urging tax credit only recipients who think they may not be eligible to claim UC to avail of the advice and support available. This includes information on: transitional protection; savings and investment levels over £16,000; and support for those people who  are self-employed.

Communities Minister Gordon Lyons said he wanted to ensure that everyone who has received a migration notice inviting them to move from tax credits to UC, didn’t lose out on the financial support available to them.

“I am committed to ensuring people have access to the financial support they are entitled to and I am encouraging everyone who has received a migration notice to look into their individual circumstances and not to ignore their letter.

“Tax credits will end if you do not make a claim to UC. Anyone making a claim to UC following receipt of a migration notice letter will have their benefit entitlement protected through ‘transitional protection’. This means that people with no change in their circumstances will not have a reduced entitlement at the point they move to UC.

“It is important for people to find out what they are entitled to given their own circumstances and my Department can assist with that through its dedicated telephony team and face-to-face support at local Jobs and Benefits office as well as online information at nidirect. People can also seek independent welfare advice on the Move to UC.”

Support and advice on the Move to UC is available via:

  • A dedicated UC telephony team on 0800 012 1331
  • information online at NI direct 
  • local Jobs and Benefits offices

Independent advice on Universal Credit and welfare changes is also available by contacting:

If you live with a partner as a couple, you will both need to make a UC claim which will then be linked.

People do not need to take action until they receive a Migration Notice letter from the Department for Communities.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Based on February 2024 data there are 51k households in receipt of an eligible benefit which will be replaced by Universal Credit during the current Move to UC. This includes 24k households in receipt of tax credits only.
  1. 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, along with financial support for people with disabilities, carers and people too ill to work. UC is being implemented here in line with the policy agreed by the Northern Ireland Executive.
  1. On 19 April 2024, the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced plans to bring forward the migration of 60,000 income-Related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) only and Income-Related ESA with Housing Benefit (ESA/HB) claimants to Universal Credit from 2028. The Department is working to assess the impact of this announcement and will provide an update on plans for that migration.
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  1. 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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