Thousands of people with a disability have been missing out on an emergency out of work benefit top-up to help them through the Covid-19 crisis because the Government says it will take too long to make changes.
The Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC), a network of over 100 organisations (including Hafal), has been told the reason people on all legacy benefits have not received the same £20 uplift as those claiming Universal Credit is because it is “too complicated” for the Government computer system.
In addition, on 27 May Neil Couling, the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) Senior Responsible Owner for Universal Credit, said the emergency £20 was only ever intended for new claimants, and it was a “windfall gain” for existing ones. He went on to say they wanted to help “people affected by the pandemic”, failing to acknowledge the impact the virus has had on disabled people – and will have for a long time to come.
This has meant for 60 days thousands of people living with a disability or with long-term health conditions – who tend to have lower incomes and higher costs than the general population – have missed out on financial help during the pandemic. This is despite a recent DBC survey1 finding 95% of disabled people had seen an increase in their costs as a result of the pandemic – from needing more money to safely access food to having to pay for higher heating and water bills while shielding at home.
Ella Abraham, Z2K’s Policy and Campaigns Officer and Campaigns Co-Chair of the DBC, says: “Discriminatory Government excuses are leaving over 2.5 million people without the vital support they are fully entitled to. At a time of crisis, the Government must stop wasting crucial time and extend the emergency £20 Covid-19 increase to all out of work benefits to ensure everyone is safe.”
Join the DBC’s call in demanding the Government to stop leaving disabled people behind.
Find out more at: https://disabilitybenefitsconsortium.wordpress.com/