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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Universal credit migration  →  Thread

If MN is cancelled, no transitional protection for future UC claim

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Andrew Dutton
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Reading through the ‘Third-Party Guide - to support households required to make a Move to Universal Credit’.

I had not realised that the following was the case:

‘Customers must understand that if the Migration Notice is cancelled and the customer needs to make a claim to Universal Credit in the future, they will not receive any transitional protection. This means they might not receive the same amount of money or might not be entitled at all. • The cancellation request will be considered and if approved DWP will make sure that the customer understands the impact of a Migration Notice cancellation. A Migration Notice cancellation letter will be issued to the customer to inform them of the decision and that they will no longer be eligible for transitional protection. • If they need to make a claim to UC in the future, they may find that they get less money on UC than they receive from current benefits, unless a new Migration Notice is issued, and transitional protection is appropriate’

Wot? I had rather foolishly assumed that a new MN would be issued when the circumstances requiring cancellation no longer applied. But of course, there is no such provision in the Regs. Never let your imagination fill in the gaps.

Of what use, then, is cancellation to the people it purports to protect? Is this not just a punishment for not fitting in with DWP’s plans? 

Andrew Dutton
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Ah, perhaps they are referring to the perils of natural migration here?  They refer to a new MN being issued, but are presumably covering a change of circs before that happens.


Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrg.

 

Elliot Kent
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I had this conversation with a colleague and similarly got worked up about it - but I think it is just a little poorly expressed.

The point is that if your migration notice is cancelled but you then claim UC anyway without a further migration notice having been issued, then you would be a natural migrant and wouldn’t qualify for transitional protection.

However if you look at the last sentence - if the first migration notice is cancelled but then a further migration notice is issued, transitional protection will be available.

So, if you get your migration notice cancelled and then two weeks later you move to another LA area and need to make a claim for UC, you are doing so as a natural rather than a managed migrant and you don’t get TP. That is, if you think about it, obviously correct - your migration notice is cancelled so you can’t be a managed migrant.

But if you are given a second migration notice in the future because your circumstances are no longer within one of the carve-outs, then you will get your TP as a managed migrant in the ordinary way.

Andrew Dutton
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Phew, thanks.

Yes, it is actually very poorly expressed (he said, trying to get of the hook). I wonder if DWP would consider a re-write?

Elliot Kent
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I will say in your defence that the original is a very densely packed powerpoint slide and that the words “will not” and “no”  in relation to transitional protection are in bold - so they’re the bits that draw attention when you skim through it.

stevejohnsontrainer
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As Elliot points out, the ‘third’ paragraph confirms that TP is not lost if a claim for UC is eventually made within migration deadlines, assuming cancellation is allowed. Trouble is that rapid readers of the DWP powerpoint (including housing providers,LAs and everyone else), may only notice the big messages in the earlier paragraphs and may end up believing or even asserting that any cancellation would be toxic to TP. I wrote a little note to Neil Couling this morning on the wording in the powerpoint and humbly sought a clarification. I will let you know what the outcome is.

Andrew Dutton
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Splendid, thank you.

Both!

Charles
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I think it is clear that if a new MN is sent, then they will get TP. The question is only if we can be sure that a new MN will be sent in all cases.

We have had many cases where clients are being told, when getting their MN cancelled, that they will not be entitled to TP in future. In one case, a client was told that their agreement to this was akin to a ‘verbal contract’ being signed agreeing to forego TP!!!

On the recent Housing Systems conference, I did ask the person from DWP to confirm that new MNs would be sent to such claimants, and she pretty much confirmed that they would be.

I have also submitted a FOI request about this as well, but not had any luck to date, but I have made a complaint to the ICO.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/updated_guidance_for_teams_worki#outgoing-1590832

stevejohnsontrainer
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With the Resolution Foundation suggesting that 71% of families are worse off in real terms on UC, I wonder if claimants need to worry if they never see another Migration Notice again once a previous one is cancelled! That would only mean more time on Legacy, I guess until the lights are finally switched off, as tax credits seems destined to be next year.

Charles
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That is the worry though, that the “lights are switched off”, and they don’t receive another MN before that point!

Andrew Dutton
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I’ve heard unofficially DWP intends to close Income Support down ‘within six months’ (six months of when, I’m not sure).  The number of staff who deal with it (and understand its rules) is apparently diminishing rapidly.

RachelUCN
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We raised this with the engagement team and got this response -

‘Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We have reviewed the content of the pack and will be updating this to read: “Customers must understand that if the Migration Notice is cancelled, should they make a claim to Universal Credit in the future, and no further Migration Notice has been issued, they will not receive any transitional protection. This means they might not receive the same amount of money or might not be entitled at all. “

Just for clarification - cancelling the Migration Notice (MN) puts the claimant back into a position where we’re treating them as never having had a MN at all. So - like anyone else who hasn’t had one - they’re not entitled to transitional protection (TP) at that point. Then, when we issue the replacement MN, that puts them back into the MtUC process and gives them access to TP in the same way as someone receiving their first ever MN.’

We’ve suggested that they change it further to read ‘... no further Migration Notice has YET been issued’ - to clarify that one definitely will be assuming they remain on legacy benefits etc. They’ve agreed that that’s the case but can’t promise that the change will be made.

Andrew Dutton
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As they are now cramming so many migrations into a short time, should they not ‘switch off’ natural migration?

I’ve been cheeky and asked that question. If I ever get an answer, I’ll share it.

HB Anorak
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Andrew Dutton - 15 May 2024 09:15 AM

As they are now cramming so many migrations into a short time, should they not ‘switch off’ natural migration?

I’ve been cheeky and asked that question. If I ever get an answer, I’ll share it.

The only way to do that would be to re-open new claims to all the legacy benefits for everyone except a MM “notified person”.  I really cannot see that happening - not when the Regs have already been amended to anticipate the decommissioning of the tax credit computer system by the end of 24/25

Andrew Dutton
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Yep. Heigh-ho. Stacked deck.

Charles
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RachelUCN - 15 May 2024 08:18 AM

Just for clarification - cancelling the Migration Notice (MN) puts the claimant back into a position where we’re treating them as never having had a MN at all. So - like anyone else who hasn’t had one - they’re not entitled to transitional protection (TP) at that point. Then, when we issue the replacement MN, that puts them back into the MtUC process and gives them access to TP in the same way as someone receiving their first ever MN.’

We’ve suggested that they change it further to read ‘... no further Migration Notice has YET been issued’ - to clarify that one definitely will be assuming they remain on legacy benefits etc. They’ve agreed that that’s the case but can’t promise that the change will be made.

Do you have any idea what will happen to claimants who remain in a deferred group through to the end of 24/25? Will they still get a migration notice?
E.g., they have a 19-year-old on the tax credit claim who only turns 20 in April 2025.