Households who receive six legacy benefits set to be replaced by Universal Credit have been issued a switch warning as they risk having their payments stopped.

New figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions revealed more than 180,000 benefit claimants lost out by not making the move to Universal Credit before the deadline.

People who receive six legacy benefits are gradually being moved on to Universal Credit through a process known as managed migration.

When it is time for a group on certain benefits to switch, they are sent a migration notice by the DWP.

The migration notice must be responded to promptly, with the DWP saying people will have three months to claim Universal Credit or risk losing their benefit entitlements.

The deadline will be stated on the migration notice letter.

Since March 2024, the DWP has sent more than 800,000 migration notices, but between July 2022 and March 2024 184,120 people have failed to make the switch to Universal Credit.

As a result, they have lost their benefits.

Alison Garnham, chief executive of Child Poverty Action Group told The Sun: "Today's 'no-claim' figures are truly alarming. Claimants are losing money they need while the DWP buries its head in the sand.

"The department must slow down the managed migration to Universal Credit and put in place robust support mechanisms that will enable people to move safely to Universal Credit.

"Without action from the DWP this is a disaster in-the-making."

A DWP spokesperson said: "The majority of Tax Credit claimants have successfully moved to Universal Credit.

"Evidence shows Universal Credit is having a sustained positive impact on the jobs market, and people on Universal Credit are more likely to be in work six months after making a claim.

"From the half a million households invited to move to Universal Credit, only 30 complaints have been made by the end of March, and there is a range of support available to help people move, including extensions for those who need extra support."

These are the legacy benefits making the switch to Universal Credit:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Working Tax Credit

The DWP guidance says: "On Universal Credit, most people will be entitled to the same amount they received from their previous benefits or more.

“If the amount you are entitled to on your existing benefits is more than you will get on Universal Credit, a top-up is available. This is called transitional protection.

"You can only get this top-up if you have received a Migration Notice letter from DWP and claim by the deadline date on your letter. If your circumstances change before you make your claim, this may affect the amount you get.

“You should claim as soon as possible to make sure the amount you are currently entitled to can be protected. Any transitional protection you receive as part of your Universal Credit claim may stop if you have a change in circumstances once you've made your claim."