Need for transitional protection to ensure no-one misses out on benefits, says Armstrong

There is a need for ‘transitional protection’ to ensure those moving from legacy benefits onto universal credit do not lose out, Alliance Communities spokesperson Kellie Armstrong MLA has said.

The Department of Communities has confirmed its planned move to universal credit for all claimants, due in January 2021, has been postponed. This means anyone on ‘legacy benefits’ such as income support, child tax credits and others, who has a significant change in personal circumstance will move into universal credit on a potentially lower rate than their current award.

Ms Armstrong said it was vital transitional protections, which were created to ‘top up’ universal credit, were brought forward to ensure those who do move across are not left worse off.

“Transitional protection is an extra amount which tops up universal credit award so people do not miss out when moving to universal credit from legacy benefits. It means people will not be worse off than they were on a legacy benefit.

“While I recognise we are in the middle of a major crisis and normally it would not be the time to undertake such a huge change to people’s benefits, any further delay to this means more people will not be able to access protections envisaged for them.”