Skip to main content

Universal Credit Transition: Severe Disability Premium

Volume 705: debated on Monday 13 December 2021

19. What steps her Department is taking to ensure that new universal credit recipients, who were previously entitled to severe disability premium, do not experience a reduction in benefit payments when they transition to universal credit. (904718)

There is a little repetition with the answer that I gave to the hon. Member for Bradford South (Judith Cummins). To support claimants previously entitled to the severe disability premium who moved to universal credit following a change of circumstances, we have introduced severe disability premium-related transitional payments. Those eligible, depending on their specific circumstances, will receive a transitional element of up to £405 a month.

I thank the Minister for that answer. One of my constituents was previously in receipt of employment support allowance and housing benefit with a severe disability premium. Earlier this year, she relocated to my constituency to be closer to her daughter for support. That triggered a transition to universal credit and, even with transitional protection payments, she is more than £70 a month worse off, which, in the face of the current cost of living squeeze, is having a significant impact. Will the Minister meet me about this case? What additional steps will the Government take to support people such as my constituent who are being unfairly financially penalised by the move to universal credit?

I am happy to meet the hon. Lady, who, as a relatively new member of the House, I can see is getting stuck into casework. I welcome her hard work in doing so. The design of universal credit has concentrated support on the most severely disabled. That can be taken in alignment with other points that I have made, including on the support available through the national disability strategy and the ideas put forward in our health and disability Green Paper, as well as the many other things that the Department is doing. I hope that they may be of some support and help to her constituent.