How a terminally ill man is leading the fight against inhumane universal credit | DisabledGo News and Blog


Next month, a terminally ill man is set to take on the government – and with it, the disastrous universal credit (UC) policy. Known only as TP, a 52-year-old ex-City worker – who has non-Hodgkin lymphoma and the lymph node condition Castleman disease – is launching a landmark challenge at the high court after becoming financially worse off under the new benefit system.

The government says that disabled people will be protected by “top-up payments” as they transfer to UC but no such payments are planned until July 2019. The Department for Work and Pensions claims UC means support is focused on those “who need it most”, but a government removing SDP and EDP – benefits designed to help severely disabled people living without a carer – is pulling a safety net from citizens with the greatest needs. This includes disabled single parents who, without their benefits to pay for help to cook or wash, are likely to be forced to rely on their children as young carers. TP’s case shows this inhumanity in a nutshell. He discovered he was dying in 2016 and moved to London to receive treatment, but as it was an area where UC had already been rolled out in the capital, his benefits were cut by £178 a month.

It’s the political equivalent of kicking someone when they’re down. Disabled people are already hardest hit by austerity, especially when cash-strapped councils are increasingly charging them for their social care (a charge that can hit those receiving SDP even harder as they don’t have a family carer). Research from disability charity Scope this month finds disabled people have to pay on average an extra £570 a month for the costs of disability for anything from taxis to specialist food, with one in five paying more than £1,000 extra per month.

Since its rollout, UC has become synonymous with hardship, often heaped on the most disadvantaged families: from an increase in food bank use and rent arrears, to now one million 

 

Source: How a terminally ill man is leading the fight against inhumane universal credit | DisabledGo News and Blog

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