UK households who receive six legacy benefits due to be replaced by Universal Credit have been issued a warning after thousands had their payments stopped.

Figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) revealed more than 180,000 benefit claimants lost out by not making the move to Universal Credit ahead of their deadline.

People who receive six legacy benefits are gradually being moved on to Universal Credit through a process known as managed migration.

When it is time for a group on certain benefits to switch, they are sent a migration notice by the DWP.

The migration notice must be responded to promptly, with the DWP saying people will have three months to claim Universal Credit or risk losing their benefit entitlements.

The deadline will be stated on the migration notice letter.

Since March 2024, the DWP has sent more than 800,000 migration notices, but between July 2022 and March 2024 184,120 people have failed to make the switch to Universal Credit.

As a result, they have lost their benefits.

Tax expert, Andy Wood said: “According to a recent update from the DWP, 824,050 individuals in 540,070 households received migration notices between July 2022 and March 2024 across England, Wales, and Scotland. The vast majority (821,430) were tax credit claimants.

“The transition to Universal Credit is replacing six legacy benefits, including Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit, income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Income Support, and income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA).

“Of the 824,050 individuals issued migration notices between July 2022 and March 2024, 400,940 (49 percent) have successfully transitioned to Universal Credit, with 60 percent of those households receiving transitional protection to maintain their payment levels. An additional 238,990 (29 percent) are still in the process of switching.

“Meanwhile, 184,120 individuals (22 percent) have not transitioned and have had their legacy benefit claims closed, according to the DWP.

"The termination of benefits for 184,000 claimants highlights the critical need for a more empathetic and supportive approach in the Universal Credit rollout. Many of these individuals are likely facing significant challenges, and the DWP must prioritise their well-being over meeting migration targets. The primary goal should be ensuring that no one is left without essential support.

"The DWP's ability to manage the migration of claimants from legacy benefits to Universal Credit is concerning, especially for those vulnerable. The loss of benefits for many individuals is unacceptable, and the DWP must provide comprehensive support to ensure a smooth transition."