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Thread: Does moving to a UC area mean I change from old style benefits to UC?

  1. #1
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    Does moving to a UC area mean I change from old style benefits to UC?

    Hi everyone,
    Great forum - I have been scouring through it for days now, but can't find answers to my particular query/queries, so I hope that someone can help me with the right information.

    I receive ESA and Child Tax Credits, as I live in an 'old style' benefits area. I am in the support group. I was receiving income based ESA but after a small inheritance last year, I was moved to contribution based.

    I plan to move house to a Universal credit area once the finances from my divorce have been agreed, as I need to move to a cheaper area.

    I have several questions regarding what would trigger me moving from old style benefits to Universal Credit:

    1. Would moving to a Universal Credit area automatically trigger me to be moved to Universal Credit? I would be buying a small house outright in the Universal Credit area with the equity from my divorce, so would not be claiming housing benefit. (I don't currently claim housing benefit either.)
    I have had differing advice about this. The Child Tax Credits people say I would stay on old style benefits, if there were no other changes to my circumstances (which there aren't), whereas the Universal Credit people tell me they thought I would automatically be transferred to Universal Credit!! I am reluctant to call ESA, in case they realise that I am overdue for a medical assessment, and schedule one in. I couldn't take the stress of that ATM as well as the upcoming court date for the divorce financial proceedings.

    2. Assuming that the move to the new area did not trigger a change to Universal Credit, would any of these potential changes trigger a move to Universal Credit?
    (a) once my savings go below the threshold again and I am moved from contribution based ESA back to income based ESA
    (b) if I happened to be moved from the support group to the work related activity group after an ESA medical assessment (there has been no change to my condition, but it happens...)

    3.) Lastly, again assuming that the move to did not trigger a change to Universal credit, do we know when people will be migrated from the old style benefits system to Universal credit?

    I would be very much worse off under Universal Credit, hence why I ask...

    If anyone can shine any light, I would very much appreciate it.
    Thanks all.

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Firstly - Nothing 'triggers' a move to UC. - You have to make a claim for UC, if/when you do then any existing IR benefits will be migrated to UC.

    If you don't make a claim for UC then you stay as you are. (Until Managed Migration starts).

    With a house move to a different LA area it's having to make a new UC claim for the rent that means other IR benefits get migrated into UC.

    In your case as you will be buying a house there will be no rent, you'll have no need to claim UC to pay the rent, and so no need to claim UC at all.

    So you simply remain on your existing benefits and tell them that you have changed address.

    Nothing else there would seem to mean making a new UC claim and so your benefits stay as they are, simply with a new address. (and possibly a new bank account to pay them into).

    The only thing that may be an issue is how much money you get from any settlement.
    If that takes you over the savings/capital limit then current IR benefits could stop.
    But money from the sale of your residence can be disregarded (not counted as savings) for 26 weeks while you buy an new property.
    So you have 26 weeks to buy a new property with the proceeds of the sale.
    Any left over after the purchase (or after 26 weeks) will be counted as savings.
    If your IR benefits did stop because of savings then once they had reduced again any new claim would have to be UC.

    BUT. Where would you be living, and how would you be paying for that, while the sale and purchase of a new property goes through?
    That could be important.

    Nobody knows when Managed Migration is now going to start (or end).

    Regarding 'being very much worse off' on UC I believe that you are missinformed.
    In your situation you would/should be better off on UC, why do you think you would be worse off?

    If you let me know how many kids you are getting CTC (and their ages/DOB) for then I can work out what your likely UC payments would be.
    Last edited by nukecad; 26-11-20 at 19:39.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

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