Claiming tax credits? Don’t miss out on your benefits
7th November 2023
If you are currently receiving tax credits, you will be asked to apply for Universal Credit in the next few months. This is because tax credits are ending.
You will receive a letter, called a migration letter, from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) telling you when you need to apply. It’s really important that you keep an eye out for this letter as if you want to keep receiving financial support, you will need to claim Universal Credit.
DO NOT do anything until you receive an official letter (Migration Notice) from the DWP telling you that you must make the claim for Universal Credit within the next 3 months.
What to do when you receive your letter
- Renew your tax credits, if you need to, and check all your tax credits information is correct. This is to help make sure the amount of Universal Credit you receive is correct.
- Get advice so that you can find out the best time for you to make your claim for Universal Credit. If you fail to claim Universal Credit within three months of receiving your Migration Notice you may lose benefits you are entitled to, but claiming too early could mean that you are worse off financially. The best time to make a claim may be the day after you have received your tax credits. This is because there is a five week wait until your first UC payment. If your deadline to apply is after 1 April it is best to wait for benefit rate increases and rent increases to be applied to get the most Universal Credit available to you. If you are working and paid monthly, then it is usually best to not make your UC claim around the date your wages are paid, as this can sometimes result in two monthly wages being used when the DWP assess one monthly UC award.
- Get prepared Make a successful claim by getting everything you need ready. You will need an email address, bank account, and photo ID. You will also need details about you and your children/other people who live with you; your earnings, income and savings; and details of your rent and landlord.
- Apply It is important that you apply for Universal Credit by the deadline stated in the letter to avoid losing out on any financial support.
How to claim Universal Credit
You can apply for Universal Credit online.
You need to create an account to make a claim. You must complete your claim within 28 days of creating your account or you’ll have to start again.
If you cannot claim online, you can claim by phone through the Universal Credit Migration Notice helpline. The contact number is 0800 169 0328.
For advice and support
Alternatively, contact our friendly team of money advisers.
Find out more
What is Universal Credit?
I’ve not had a letter about the move to Universal Credit, should I just make a claim?
I’ve received my migration letter but I’m going to struggle to make a claim before the date in the letter – what should I do?
What if I don’t want to claim Universal Credit?
What will I get on Universal Credit?
When will the final payments for existing benefits be?
- The deadline date on your letter
- When you make a claim to Universal Credit