Holes In The Safety Net: The impact of Universal Credit on disabled people and their families

by richardhutton

Holes In The Safety Net is a report released by several charities, including The Children’s Society, Citizen’s Advice Bureau, mencap, and Disability Rights UK.

It outlines the likely impact of Universal Credit on families with disabled children:

At present, families with a disabled child in receipt of some level of DLA, may be entitled to receive additional financial support through the disability element of child tax credit, currently worth £57 a week. Under the new system, this support is to be provided through a ‘disability addition’ in a family’s Universal Credit entitlement. However, the proposal is to cut the level of this financial support in half to just £28 a week. This change will affect those families with a disabled child unless the child is receiving the high rate care component of DLA or is registered blind. The government estimates that this change will affect around 100,000 disabled children.

Families with disabled children face high expenses in terms of daily living costs – and Universal Credit is set to undermine vital social security for these families. As Citizen’s Advice Bureau note elsewhere:

Existing claimants will not lose out immediately as their current levels of benefit will be protected at point of transfer to universal credit. However, they will have their level of benefit frozen with no increases to take account of rising prices and they may see their support cut immediately if their household circumstances change. New claimants will be affected by this cut immediately

Further reading:

The impact of the Universal Credit on working disabled people by Disability Rights UK

The Impact Of Universal Credit On Families With Disabled Children  by Citizen’s Advice Bureau

The impact of Universal Credit on families with disabled children by The Children’s Society