Currently, legacy benefits recipients are only required to claim Universal Credit if they have a change in circumstance that would have previously required a new claim to another existing benefit.
A pilot scheme for the movement of certain legacy benefits claimants who have not had a change in circumstances began in July 2019.
Since January 27 this year, people getting the Severe Disability Premium (SDP) can now move onto Universal Credit and get transitional payments worth up to £405 a month, with the amount depending on circumstances.
A benefits expert at the Turn2us told Express.co.uk if a person wants to compare their legacy and Universal Credit entitlement, they can use the charity’s free, confidential benefits calculator which takes into account the amount they would be entitled to as a transitional SDP element.
Furthermore, they noted that it could be that the transitional SDP element is lost if circumstances change in the future, and the value of the element will drop over time, reducing whenever benefit rates are increased.
Claimants are advised to check their eligibility before applying to Universal Credit as legacy benefits will end when they submit their claim, and it won’t be possible to return to them in the future.
The increase in living costs during the pandemic has meant all of Melissa’s income has had to be focused on the here and now.
“It’s made it impossible for me to have any savings,” she says, “because anything that I might have been able to put aside for a rainy day has had to go on the extra costs.”
Being in the house constantly has led to extra fuel costs, as well as more money needing to be spent on everyday essentials such as toilet roll and washing powder. All of which have added up, Melissa says.
A mother-of-three and a grandmother-of-three, Melissa adds: “Not being able to put aside money has a massive knock-on effect not just to myself but to my family.”