DWP face two appeals by Universal Credit claimants with severe disabilities.
This Commons Library briefing looks at how Universal Credit will affect benefit claimants who are, or were, getting the Severe Disability Premium. It covers measures which came into force in January 2019 to prevent people getting SDP from moving onto UC until they can receive transitional protection, and proposed “transitional payments” for those who have already moved to UC and lost SDP.
The Severe Disability Premium (SDP) is an addition payable with means-tested social security benefits. Universal Credit does not include an element equivalent to SDP – or indeed any of the disability premiums currently available. Disabled people may therefore find that their entitlement to UC is significantly lower than their previous “legacy” benefits. Transitional protection will be available to those moving onto UC at the final “managed migration” stage so that they are not worse off in cash terms at the point of transfer…
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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has finally agreed to pay compensation to two disabled men who saw their benefits drastically reduced when they were forced onto the new universal credit.
The high court had ruled in June that DWP unlawfully discriminated against the two men, known as TP and AR for legal reasons, under the European Convention on Human Rights.
But DWP forced their lawyers to another court hearing to prove the losses they experienced.
An agreement announced this week meant the full hearing did not need to take place, with each of the men now set to receive thousands of pounds in compensation.
But DWP is still appealing the finding of discrimination.
TP had been forced to move to an area where universal credit had been rolled out so he could access specialist healthcare, following a diagnosis of end stage non-Hodgkin Lymphoma cancer.
AR had also had to move to a universal credit “full service” area, in his case because the imposition of the bedroom tax meant his previous home was unaffordable.
Before moving, both men had received the severe disability premium (SDP) and enhanced disability premium (EDP) on top of employment and support allowance.
SDP and EDP are aimed at meeting the additional care needs of disabled people with high support needs who live alone with no carer, but these premiums are being scrapped under universal credit.
Universal Credit rules which saw two severely disabled men miss out on £178 a month in vital benefits are unlawful and “discriminatory”, the High Court in London has ruled in a landmark legal case.
The two claimants, known only as TP and AR, were in receipt of the Severe Disability Premium (SDP) and Enhanced Disability Premium (EDP), which are designed to meet care costs for those without a carer, before they were required to claim Universal Credit after moving to a new area.
However, both the SDP and EDP have been scrapped under Universal Credit, despite reasurances from Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey that “no one will experience a reduction in the benefit they are receiving at the point of migration to Universal Credit where circumstances remain the same”.
TP is a former Cambridge graduate and worked in the finance sector, before being diagnosed with terminal illness – Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and Castleman’s disease in 2016.
AR is 35 and suffers from severe mental health issues. He moved from Middlesbrough to Hartlepool in 2017 to escape the hated Bedroom Tax, but soon found himself facing the much criticised Universal Credit system and a serious drop in income.
Source: Universal Credit ‘discriminates’ against disabled people, High Court rules : Welfare Weekly
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.
Blair was never a moderate and he certainly is not now, he was only interested in himself and his surge for power and he has not changed. Whether he was like this from the start, I can not say, but that is where he came to.
As for Trump, he is there from the start and no one knows what he will do next, perhaps, even himself.
We have been and still are in very worrying times.
Yon made reference to Dr David Kelly taking his own life, but did he, for we only have the word and reports from the establishment and they can and do alter facts and reports as they see fit. This is seen from the evidence produced by Blair re the weapons of mass destruction, they are all lies, lies and more lies, or is it Fake News as Trump states all the time. His news is fake and what he refers to as fake is correct news.
The world is a complete mess and I have not even mentioned Putin for he is a completely separate chapter.
If the prisons were full of corrupt leaders then there would be no room for the ordinary criminal.
Looking through the politics section of one of the secondhand bookshops in Cheltenham the other day, I also found two books arguing that Tony Blair was malign and psychologically unfit for office. One was by the Old Labour MP, Leo Abse, the other by the founder of the SDP and now Lib Dem, Dr David Owen. Abse’s book, the Politics of Perversion, used psychoanalytic theory to argue that Blair had the ruthless psychology of a clinical pervert. Owen’s book, the Hubris of Power, argued that Bush and Blair had spent so long in power, that they had become arrogant, believing they could get away with anything, no matter how unjust or despicable.
I only casually flicked through them, but just looking at Blair’s single-minded promotion of the Iraq Invasion, which in turn involved peddling lies, deceit and the persecution of dissenting officials – to the point where one…
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Visiting our local health centre the other day, my parents, along with the other local people enrolled there, were handed a letter, explaining that due to funding cuts the health centre was having to cut back on services. It also advised its patients that if they wanted to raise their concerns about the restriction in their service they could contact:-
1. NHS England at FAO Linda Prosser, Director of Assurance and Delivery, NHS England South West (BNSSG), 4th floor Plaza, Marlborough Street, Bristol BS1 3NX
2. your local MP who is Karin Smyth at the House of Commons, Westminster, London SW1A 0AA
3. Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, via his website http://www.jeremyhunt.org
Unfortunately, this is happening to the NHS and GPs’ services all the country. It is no accident, and it is certainly not the fault of the many dedicated doctors, nurses and other health professionals working in…
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Councils could be left to “pick up the pieces” resulting from the government’s decision to ditch a means-tested premium for disabled people with high support needs, a shadow minister has warned. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has always made it clear that it plans to abolish severe disability premium (SDP) as part of its move to universal credit, which is gradually replacing six benefits with one single, monthly, means-tested payment. But a parliamentary answer this week by the minister for disabled people, Justin Tomlinson, appears to confirm that although SDP is being ditched as claimants are moved to the new universal credit over the next four years, there are no plans to provide funding to help cash-strapped councils meet the resulting extra pressure on social care needs. SDP is currently set at nearly £62 a week, and is aimed at helping those receiving means-tested benefits with the extra costs of disability. But Labour shadow mental health minister Luciana Berger was