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Issues with transitional protection for Universal Credit claimants in receipt of Welfare Supplementary Payments.

The Cliff Edge Coalition is highlighting an issue that has arisen with transitional protection for Universal Credit claimants who are also in receipt of Welfare Supplementary Payments (WSPs).

Transitional protection payments are an additional amount to help with your move to Universal Credit. The payment will make up the difference if your Universal Credit entitlement is less than your previous tax credits or benefits.

Some Cliff Edge member organisations have reported that the Welfare Supplementary Payment mitigations are not interacting smoothly with transitional protection and that WSPs frequently drop during transition.  This means tenants and those who support them, like Housing Associations, are having to ensure that entitlements are up to date with all relevant agencies because of delays in what should be an automatic process.

We expect that this will become an even more widespread issue as more people move to Universal Credit. This could result in tenants falling (sometimes further) into arrears, especially if their housing component of Universal Credit is paid directly to a landlord.

If you provide social security advice to clients, please encourage those who are in receipt of WSP and on Universal Credit (or in the process of managed migration) to seek advice and ensure their WSP is up to date.