The pilot phase will allow the Department to test our processes carefully to ensure that claimants on all legacy benefits with a range of characteristics can be successfully moved onto Universal Credit. The Department is working with a wide and diverse range of stakeholders to design the process and we are currently developing the detailed planning on how we will start the pilot process, including which groups or individuals we will begin to move to Universal Credit.
The pilot will be evaluated to ensure that the design of our processes meet the desired outcomes of supporting all eligible legacy claimants to make a claim for Universal Credit and to put in place transitional protection, where appropriate. The Department has committed to reporting its findings from the pilot to the House of Commons before we continue with the process.
We will be providing any necessary support to those claimants who are part of the pilot to ensure they are fully supported throughout. Subject to Parliamentary approval, of the draft Universal Credit (Managed Migration Pilot and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019, discretionary hardship payments will be available from July 2019 to support the successful transition of claimants who are moved from legacy benefits to Universal Credit and experience hardship. From July 2020 we are introducing a two-week run-on for all those on Employment Support Allowance, Income Support or Jobseeker’s Allowance who move to Universal Credit and their claim for Universal Credit terminates their existing benefit award. The two-week Transitional Housing Payment is already available to eligible claimants who move from legacy benefits to Universal Credit.