Local MP calls on the government to ensure severely disabled people don’t lose out

You are here: Home / News / Local MP calls on the government to ensure severely disabled people don’t lose out
02 Jul 2019
Local MP Margaret Greenwood has used Parliamentary oral questions to raise the issue of the High Court ruling on the level of payments for disabled people who were receiving Severe Disability Premium (SDP) and lost out when they transferred to Universal Credit. It is understood that at least 13,000 disabled people are missing out on around £180 a month as a result of government policy decisions.

Severe Disability Premium is paid to people who are severely ill or disabled and do not have a paid carer. Neither Severe Disability Premium nor Enhanced Disability Premium exist in Universal Credit.

Despite the government committing to make payments after a legal challenge to severely disabled people who transferred before mid-January of this year, they have yet to do so.

In another legal case on the same issue, the High Court found on 3rd May that the level of payments the Government was intending to make was unlawful as it would have meant that the compensation payments were lower than people in the same situation would receive if they transfer later as part of the mass transfer of people on older benefits that the Government is planning.

The Government is appealing against both that and the earlier judgement.

Margaret Greenwood MP said:

“It is really shocking that severely disabled people are being treated in this way.

“Severe Disability Premium is paid to people who are severely disabled and who live alone without a carer. It is really important that people get the support that they need to live independent lives.

“People have been waiting months for payments and in some cases over a year. In May the level of payments that the Government was proposing to make was found to be unlawful. Yet, instead of listening to the court, the government has decided to appeal the decision.

“In answers to questions I put to Ministers, the Government recently revealed that it has already spent over £140,000 in legal costs defending these cases.

“I know that this will be extremely disappointing for everyone affected. The government needs to face up to the fact that this is having a real impact on people’s lives.  The government should make sure that disabled people receive the support they need instead of wasting public money on appealing the decision.”

back