Thousands of people across the UK are being warned their benefit payments will be stopped and they will need to move to Universal Credit.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is informing claimants that their existing benefits will be coming to an end and there will be a deadline to move on to Universal Credit.

Letters explaining this are currently being sent out to households that will be impacted.

Read more: Police update as grenade found in Bishop Auckland home

Under the alterations, the following six benefits and tax credits are being scrapped for people of working age:

  • 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 said in its official guidance: "You will be notified of when you will be asked to claim Universal Credit. All claimants will be moved to Universal Credit by 2024.

"If you currently receive these benefits, you will receive a Migration Notice letter from the Department for Work and Pensions.

This letter will inform you that your existing benefits or tax credits will be ending, and the date you must claim Universal Credit by. You will have three months to claim Universal Credit from the date of your Migration Notice letter."

Any other Government payments, such as Personal Independence Payment (PIP), should stay the same.

The DWP added: "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."

Usually, you cannot get Universal Credit if you have more than £16,000 in savings but people forced to switch over from their old benefits may be exempt from this rule.

The DWP explained that if you receive tax credits you can make a claim for Universal Credit even if you have savings or capital of more than £16,000, but after 12 months the normal eligibility rules will apply - this means you'll be expected to use up some your savings in that first year to continue getting the same amount in Universal Credit.

Read next:

If you want to read more stories, why not subscribe to your Northern Echo for as little as £1.25 a week. Click here