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Universal Credit: Blind and Partially Sighted People

Volume 647: debated on Monday 15 October 2018

6. What steps her Department has taken to ensure that claiming universal credit online is accessible to blind and partially sighted people. (907041)

The online system has been designed with accessibility in mind, and it has been audited and approved by the Royal National Institute of Blind People for all accessibility needs. Face-to-face and telephone support are in place for those vulnerable claimants who cannot self-serve online.

Many disabled people are already having problems claiming universal credit. With the regulations for managed migration expected shortly, the Disability Benefits Consortium fears that many people with disabilities will fall through the cracks and lose transitional protection. What steps is the Minister taking to ensure that people with physical or mental disabilities are given the specialist help they need to migrate, and should we not delay migration until that is sorted?

There is extensive engagement with the various organisations, and the Department is working hard to ensure there is full support for the disabled claimant, whether that is through the severe disability premium or our recently announced universal support fund.