Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Review on the impact of Universal Credit

The Children’s Society, Citizens Advice and Disability Rights UK are working together in supporting Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson to produce a review on the impact of the new “Universal Credit” benefit on disabled children and adults. To do this they need your help -  you can contribute to the review in several ways:

• Read about the changes and the groups most likely to be affected
• Take their survey for Tanni’s review
• Respond to the Government’s consultation on the Universal Credit regulations

The changes and the impact on disabled people

Universal Credit will replace all means tested benefits for working age people from 2013, including income based jobseeker’s allowance, ESA, and tax credits.  Some groups of disabled people will get more financial help under Universal Credit but some who claim for the first time will receive considerably less money under Universal Credit than they would get under the current system.

The final decisions have yet to be made, as the detailed regulations still need to be passed through Parliament.  They want the Government to change its plans, so that certain groups of disabled people aren’t hit disproportionately by the changes to the way financial support for disabled people is structured. They have calculated how much different groups of people will get under Universal Credit but to inform our lobbying, they also need to know more about the additional costs disabled people often face in different situations because of their impairment or long term health condition eg the extra costs of transport.

• Find out more detail about the changes ( 31kb)
• Find out about the financial impact on different groups of disabled children and adults (160kb)

Respond to the review

They are particularly concerned that certain groups of people will lose out under universal credit.

They are interested in hearing from people who are in each of the following situations. If you have a disabled child with a long term health condition or impairment, or are a disabled adult in work, or if you live alone and are disabled adult and not have a carer.

There are three surveys, please complete the survey below that is relevant to you.

(Please note that unless your circumstances change your benefit won't be reduced, but you will be able to give valuable information about what the effect would be on new claimants).

Respond to the Government’s consultation

The government is consulting on these changes you can find out about the changes ( 31kb) and financial impact ( 160kb) they will have - and then respond to the consultation. There has been much less focus on the changes in Universal credit than other changes facing disabled people but for some people there will be a much greater financial impact form this than any other change.

What will happen next?

Based on the survey responses we receive, the review will be producing a report in the autumn in advance of MPs and peers debating the changes in Parliament – this report will illustrate the impact of these changes on people’s lives.

Resources and further information

• Briefing document about restructuring of support for disabled people under universal credit (31kb)
• Scenarios: How different types of families will be affected by the proposed changes under universal credit ( 160kb)
• Respond to the consultation on the social security advisory council website
• Universal credit on the Department for Work and Pensions website