HUNDREDS of people in Southend have been stripped of their benefits during the ongoing switch to Universal Credit, new figures show.

Figures from the Department for Work and Pensions show about 1,700 migration notices had been submitted to legacy benefit and tax credit claimants in Southend between July 2022 and March this year.

It comes as the anti-poverty charity Turn2Us said it is "deeply concerned" hundreds of thousands of people across the country have lost support as they move from legacy benefits to Universal Credit.

Of the notices submitted in Southend, about 620 cases were closed, resulting in someone losing their benefits.

Universal Credit was introduced in 2013 to replace several existing benefits, in a bid to simplify benefits.

People receiving Jobseekers’ Allowance, Child Tax Credit and Housing Benefit among others are gradually being transferred onto Universal Credit, with the DWP resuming the issuing of migration notices in July 2022 following the coronavirus pandemic.

But payments to many receiving these older benefits were stopped completely, rather than moving to the new system.

A DWP spokesman said: "The majority of tax credit claimants have successfully moved to Universal Credit.

"Our statistics show that only 30 people logged complaints while over half a million households had been invited to move to Universal Credit by the end of March.

"There is a range of support available to help people move, including extensions for those who need extra support."