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Universal Credit for those with a Disability
KEY FACTS:

  • Some disabled / sick claimants are worse off on Universal Credit than under 'legacy benefits' this includes some disabled claimants - so they should seek advice if they are told to claim UC to make sure it is their only / best option (click here for more information). 

  • A 'Gateway Condition' has been introduced into the UC Regulations that prevents some disabled claimants from being able to make a new claim for Universal Credit ie some with the Severe Disability Premium included when their legacy benefits are assessed - click here. These claimants will receive transitional protection when they do eventually move onto UC via the managed migration process - click here.

  • There are no adult 'disability' elements ie no equivalent to the disability premium, enhanced disability premium or severe disability premium etc - only 'unfit for work' elements awarded for a claimant or joint claimant (ie partner) who has been found to have a 'limited capability for work' (LCW) and whose period of incapability started before April 2017 OR a 'limited capability for work related activity' (LCWRA). Click here for more details.
     
  • If an existing UC claimant becomes sick/disabled they will remain on UC.

  • Depending on whether their illness/disability is temporary or more long term a UC claimant who is sick/disabled can find that:
    • Any conditionality they have may change and/or
    • The amount of UC they are entitled to may increase.

  • Income Related Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) is one of the 'legacy benefits' that UC replaces. 
       
  • Contributory Employment and Support Allowance is not, however, being replaced by Universal Credit. When someone finishes work through ill health they might be entitled to Contributory Employment and Support Allowance. Where a new claim is made after the UC Full Service come to the area then Contributory Employment and Support Allowance is called 'New-Style ESA'. There have been reports of claimants struggling to claim C-ESA/New-Style ESA - click here for more details. 

  • Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance, Armed Forces Independence Payment and Attendance Allowance are not taken into account as income in calculating Universal Credit.

  • A single person on mid or high rate DLA or daily living PIP will be excluded from the Shared Accommodation Rate if renting in the private rented sector - click here

  • If a UC claimant or joint claimant (ie partner) receives Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance, Armed Forces Independence Payment, Attendance Allowance or Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit , or a dependent child/young person receives DLA/PIP, the family is excluded from the Benefit Cap.

  • If the claimant or joint claimant (ie partner), dependent child, foster child or non-dependant gets a daily living component of PIP, mid or high rate care component of DLA, Armed Forces Independence Payment or Attendance Allowance and they need and have an overnight carer that stays in a bedroom at their house overnight - then they are allowed an additional bedroom for Bedroom Tax / LHA purposes click here.
       
  • If the claimant and joint claimant (ie partner) are unable to share a bedroom due to disability needs, and the disabled partner is getting a daily living component of PIP, mid or high rate care component of DLA or high rate Attendance Allowance then they can each be allocated a bedroom under the Bedroom Tax / LHA rules - click here.

  • If the claimant or joint claimant (ie partner) are on PIP daily living, mid or high rate care component of DLA, Armed Forces Independence Payment or Attendance Allowance then there should be no no-dependant deduction - or what the DWP call housing costs contributions.

  • Where the claimant is responsible for a child/young person on DLA/PIP they will have a Disabled Child Element included in their award - there are two Disabled Child Elements - standard and higher. Click here for more information.

  • Workers who have been found to have a Limited Capability for Work / Work Related Activities can have more of their earnings disregarded - click here.

  • Disabled students can remain on UC when they start a full-time course (depending on amount of student loans etc) as long as they are on DLA/PIP and been found to have a Limited Capability for Work / Work Related Activities - click here.

 

  • Reasonable adjustments might need to be made to enable the disabled person to make and maintain their claim, and the DWP should take into account their disabilities when deciding on any work related requirements, or the requirement to attend interviews.

  • Disability Employment Advisers are still available in Job Centres but the aim is for them to act more like mentors giving advice to the work coach.

  • Jobseekers who have communication difficulties can apply for Access to Work money for a communication support worker to accompany them to a job interview.





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