Legacy benefits

6 existing means-tested benefits are being replaced, for working age people, by Universal Credit.

If you currently receive one of these ‘legacy’ benefits, you'll eventually be moved over to Universal Credit.

While Universal Credit is being phased in, these older ‘legacy’ benefits continue to be available for existing claimants, for certain types of accommodation or people with an entitlement to the Severe Disability Premium. 

If you currently receive one of the older 'legacy' benefits, you'll at some point be moved over to Universal Credit. The government aims to complete this process by March 2023. 

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Jobseeker’s Allowance is a benefit for people who are unemployed or working fewer than 16 hours a week and are looking for work. There are 2 forms of Jobseeker’s Allowance: 

  • Contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance is available if you have paid enough in National Insurance contributions. It is not being replaced by Universal Credit. 
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance is based on your income and savings. Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance is being phased out and replaced by Universal Credit.

No new claims for income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance can be made. If you're already getting income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, you'll at some point be moved over to Universal Credit.

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You may be eligible for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if your ability to work is limited because of ill health or disability. There are two forms of ESA:

  • Contribution-based ESA is available if you have paid enough in National Insurance contributions. It is not being replaced by Universal Credit. 
  • Income-related ESA is based on your income and savings. Income-related ESA is being phased out and replaced by Universal Credit.

No new claims for income-related ESA can be made. If you are already getting income-related ESA, you will at some point be moved over to Universal Credit.
 

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Housing Benefit helps people pay their rent. All local councils, and the Housing Executive in Northern Ireland, run a Housing Benefit scheme. 

Housing Benefit will continue to be available for people over Pension Credit qualifying age. For more details on claiming this benefit, see our information on Housing Benefit

You can use this online calculator to check your Pension Credit qualifying age.

You can't get Universal Credit to pay for temporary or supported housing. In this case you'll still need to apply for Housing Benefit, regardless of your age.

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Income Support is a benefit to cover basic living expenses if you can’t work. Only limited groups of people can now claim Income Support. This includes some carers and single parents with very young children.

Income Support is being replaced by Universal Credit

No new claims can be made for Income Support. If you're already getting Income Support, you'll at some point be moved over to Universal Credit.
 

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Working Tax Credit is a benefit to top up the earnings of working people on a low income. Child Tax Credit is a means-tested benefit for people, working or not, who are responsible for children.

Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit are being replaced by Universal Credit, so no new claims can now be made.

If you're already getting Tax Credits, you'll at some point be moved over to Universal Credit. It's not possible to claim Tax Credits at the same time as Universal Credit, so when you move on to Universal Credit, your Tax Credit entitlement will end.

Your Tax Credit award will be finalised at this point, rather than waiting for the final review at the end of the tax year.
 

There are also two older benefits, Incapacity Benefit and Severe Disablement Allowance, which have been replaced by Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

It's no longer possible to make a new claim for these benefits, but some people who already receive them may continue to do so.  

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This was replaced by contributory Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) in 2008.

If you're still receiving Incapacity Benefit, you may continue to receive it for the time being.

At some stage, you will be reassessed under the Work Capability Assessment. If you’re found eligible, you will be moved on to Employment and Support Allowance, and possibly Universal Credit.

For more information about the Work Capability Assessment, see our information on Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit.

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Severe Disablement Allowance was abolished in 2001.

If you still receive it, at some stage you may be reassessed under the Work Capability Assessment.

If you’re found eligible, you will be moved on to Employment and Support Allowance, and possibly Universal Credit

Ditch disability cuts

People with Parkinson's rely on financial support to stay independent and in control. We're campaigning to stop harmful disability benefits cuts.