Thousands on Universal Credit to get up to £405 disability top-up payment from this month
THOUSANDS of disabled Brits on Universal Credit will see their payments rise by up to £405 a month from Thursday.
It affects those who had their benefits cut when they were rolled onto the new welfare system.
Brits who claimed the Severe Disability Premium (SDP) on the legacy benefit system saw the payment axed when they were automatically switched onto Universal Credit.
This happened if a change in circumstances affected benefit payments including Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Housing Benefit or Pension Credit.
It left severely disabled Brits hundreds of pounds worse off each month.
Following calls from campaigners and a court ruling, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) agreed to boost payments to make up the difference.
Who’s eligible for Severe Disability Premium
TO get a Severe Disability Premium (SDP), you have to be getting an income-related benefit.
This could be Income Support, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Guarantee Pension Credit, or Housing Benefit.
You also must be getting one of these benefits:
- Attendance Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance care component at the middle or highest rate
- Personal Independence Payment daily living component
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
Single claimants of SDP get £66.95 per week, while a couple gets £133.90 per week.
To claim the benefit, you'll need to contact the office for the benefit you get and tell them that you think you should be entitled to a Severe Disability Premium.
Alternatively, if you're already receiving Universal Credit and you need the disability top-up, make sure to write it in your journal.
Severe Disability Premium can be backdated to when you became entitled to it.
As of January 17 this year, the DWP had manually paid out over £51.5million to 15,000 people who lost out following the change.
But from October 8, the separate monthly payments will be added to Universal Credit claimants' regular monthly payout.
How much you get depends on whether you're claiming as a single person or a couple, and whether you were expected to look for work.
The top-ups are worth £120, £285 or £405 a month, depending on your circumstances.
In May 2019, the High Court ruled that the benefit cuts for disabled claimants was unlawful for those moved onto Universal Credit before January 16 2019.
It came after the DWP also stopped severely disabled Brits from going onto Universal Credit in January last year.
If you were entitled to SDP on other benefits and you claimed Universal Credit after 16 January 2019, you can choose to go back onto the benefits Universal Credit replaces.
But poverty charity Turn2Us warns that this is complicated, and advises you to find an adviser via its website.
Earlier this month, Justin Tomlinson, minister of state at the DWP, said: "I will be signing a determination setting the conversion day to 8 October 2020.
"This is when the UC system will have capacity to convert SDP transitional payments to transitional element."
Those who currently receive SDP will stay on their legacy benefits until January 2021 when they will be rolled onto Universal Credit.
People on Universal Credit who have seen the SDP top-up axed will be considered for the boost.
A think tank has warned that six million households on Universal Credit will have their benefits cut by £1,000 a year if Rishi Sunak goes forward with plans to axe a temporary coronavirus boost.
It comes after more than 50 charities and groups wrote to Mr Sunak to make he temporary measures permanent or risk plunging hundreds of thousands into poverty.
Last week, we reported how an algorithm used to automatically calculate Universal Credit payments is "flawed" pushing vulnerable households into hunger and debt, an international watchdog has warned.
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