Universal Credit – 3rd court battle for severe disability premiums

uc high court 1 may iltwitter
A previous vigil in support of the legal challenge by Mr P and Mr R

 On Tuesday 3 December 2019 – International Day of Disabled People

at Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London WC2A 2LL

Court case starts 10.30am. Go into court room 73 to support the claimants, TP and AR. Court times to be listed here.  Continues Wednesday 4 December (afternoon only), Thursday 5 December, support in court needed.

1.30pm Tuesday 3 Dec: photocall & vigil outside court — Facebook event

Please come along, or support in other ways:  #ScrapUC #UniversalCredit

Called by Inclusion London, WinVisible (women with visible & invisible disabilities), with other disability, women’s and anti-poverty supporters.  Info: 020 7482 2496

@inclusionlondon  @winvisiblewomen  @22magoo  @Dis_PPL_Protest

The two severely disabled men, known as TP and AR, were on ESA plus severe disability premiums (SDPs).  But they were told to claim Universal Credit (UC) when they moved to a different area.  They lost around £180 a month as the disability element in UC is much less.   The government is still refusing to compensate this loss and is now proposing that this group of claimants get £50 a month less than other disabled claimants on SDPs.

After the previous court win, the government had to change the rules to safeguard other severely disabled people on ESA.  They made a regulation that people getting SDPs could not move onto UC before all ESA claimants get moved, and so get what is called “transitional protection” of their benefits. But TP and AR are still battling for their SDP rights, as the government is now going to the Court of Appeal against the court decisions in their favour.  See the press release from their solicitors, Leigh Day.

Previously, Leigh Day put out this statement explaining the case and quoting the two men:

AR said:

“Losing £50 will make it even harder to make ends meet. It may not sound like a lot, but it will make a difference. Not only that, it is unfair that we will be treated differently to other claimants due to the illogical policy the government has put in place. Now I fear it is back to food banks for me, even though I have brought two successful legal cases.”

TP said:

“To say that I am extremely frustrated to be fighting essentially the same fight again, now for a third time, is an understatement. It is time for the government to take responsibility for their flawed policy and ensure everyone is treated equally.”

Note disabled people claiming benefits for the first time who weren’t previously on ESA only get the lower disability UC rate, and don’t get any so-called “transitional protection”.

UC hits women, single mums and kids, disabled people, the hardest. It cuts child tax credits for disabled children by half.  Single disabled mums with disabled children lose £10,000 a year from benefit cuts.

Policy of the main political parties: Tory policy is to continue Universal Credit.  The Liberal Democrats want to keep Universal Credit, with only minor changes.  Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, who always supported disabled people’s benefit rights, have pledged to scrap Universal Credit.

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