The benefits of moving

The long implementation of Universal Credit (UC) has been far from smooth and we’ve become all too used to negative stories about roll-out delays and, more seriously, payment problems and financial hardship for those accessing the new system. The government, however, is likely to have been cheered at least by the fact that the roll-out has picked up pace in recent months, with the full system set to be in place across all job centres in the UK by the end of the year. But implementation is shortly to enter its next and, arguably most difficult, phase: ‘managed migration’. This brings new risks, but opportunities too. To date, all UC claims have been made by people who are newly entitled following a change in their circumstances. This ‘natural migration’ will continue over the coming years, but will be supplemented from the middle of 2019 by the gradual transition of existing benefit recipients onto UC. Successfully implementing this managed migration will be key if UC is to stand any chance of becoming accepted as an improvement on the current system.

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