One of Universal Credit (UC) policy’s most shameful parts is barely being noticed.
The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members:
The hidden cuts being forced on Britain’s most severely disabled people will increase with the full roll out of UC.
Neither Severe Disability Premium (SDP) nor Enhanced Disability Premium (EDP) exists under UC.
Severely disabled people unable to work due to their medical condition and reliant on welfare benefits are now calculated to be no less than £41.10 per week worse off on UC compared to Employment Support Allowance. Even a small loss of income, when your already struggling to manage, can tip people with a severe disabilities over the edge.
Whilst transitional protection will support many people currently receiving Severe Disability Premium (SDP) against cash losses at the point they move on to UC, this is limited since it (1) will not protect new claimants (2) its value will be lost over time as a result of it being frozen, and (3) it will be lost if the household undergoes certain changes.
David Cameron stated “That is a choice we are making. Increasing the overall amount of money, focusing on the most disabled – that I think shows the right values and the right approach.”
The severe disability premium (SDP) currently gives additional support to disabled adults who receive the middle rate or higher rate of the care component of DLA or the standard or enhanced PIP daily living component and live on their own and no one is paid carer’s allowance for assisting them.
SDP is abolished under universal credit. This will cost these disabled adults, about £62.45 per week (£3,250 per year)
You qualify for an Enhanced Disability Premium (EDP) if you are under Pension Credit age and receive DLA higher rate care component or PIP Daily Living component enhanced rate. You can also qualify for an enhanced disability premium if you receive ESA and are in the support group. EDP is also abolished under universal credit. This will cost disabled adults £15.90 per week (£825 per year).
Even the most disabled adults entitled to the limited capability for work related activity element will be entitled to £41.10 less a week under UC than in the current system.
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