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UC natural migration
Covid-19 accelerated the natural migration to Universal Credit which means that many disabled people miss out on transitional protection
It has been known since Universal Credit was first launched that many thousands of disabled people will lose out when they move onto Universal Credit. This was an intentional policy decision; ministers chose not to include disability premiums when designing Universal Credit. Yet the scale of the problem is bigger than was perhaps imagined back in the 2010s. More and more people are experiencing natural migration onto Universal Credit due to changes in their circumstances, especially in light of COVID-19. This means that more people will miss out on full transitional protection.
Managed migration (or ‘Move to UC’) was, until recently, forecast to be finished by the end of 2023. It has now been pushed back, and the small-scale pilot in Harrogate is now on hold. In 2018, the OBR predicted that 300,000 people would move to Universal Credit under managed migration in 2020-21 and 1.1 million in 2021-22. In reality, only 80 households have been involved in the Harrogate pilot so far.
This means that many households who would have been part of ‘Move to UC’ and received full transitional protection will no longer do so. Whilst some disabled households will receive SDP transitional payments, these only compensate for the loss of a severe disability premium, whereas full transitional protection compensates for all other losses like the enhanced disability premium.
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