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28 April, 2020 Open access

DWP warns people that applying for universal credit will bring any tax credit claim to an end, even if they are not eligible for universal credit

Department also cautions that 'DWP and HMRC cannot advise whether claiming universal credit or tax credits will be better for you'

The DWP has warned people that applying for universal credit will bring any tax credit claim they have to an end, even if they are not eligible for universal credit.

In a tweet published at 20:40 yesterday, the DWP advises that people who are in receipt of tax credits and considering applying for universal credit should read the Department's 'simple guide' before they apply. The 'guide' referred to is contained in a gif attached to the tweet that warns - 

'If you currently receive tax credits, applying for universal credit wil end your tax credit claim. Once closed it is not possible to re-open a tax credit claim or to claim tax credits again in the future.

Not all tax credit recipients will eligible to receive universal credit. If you claim universal credit, your tax credit claim will be closed, even if you aren't eligible to receive universal credit.

DWP and HMRC cannot advise whether claiming universal credit or tax credits will be better for you.'

NB - on 24 April 2020, the Work and Pensions Committee published findings from its survey into people’s experiences of the benefits system during the coronavirus outbreak, including that 'people who were already claiming working tax credits told us that it hadn’t been made clear to them that making a claim for universal credit would automatically stop their existing benefits.'