Universal Credit

Families with disabled children worse off by £175 million under Universal Credit

Universal Credit is in the news again - but why is no-one is talking about the £175 million that will be cut from families with disabled children when it's fully introduced? We need to change this and stop the cut.


100,000 families with disabled children will be worse off by more than £1,750 per year as a result of the 50% cut to the child disability payment under Universal Credit. That's £175 million less going towards helping disabled children with their extra care costs. 

Families with disabled children who'll be affected in this way are already struggling to afford basics like food and heating. A cut of more than £1,750 a year is likely to result in increased debt, stress and ill health.
We recently asked more than 2,500 families how they felt about Universal Credit as part of our Counting the Costs research. 7 in 10 said they are worried about its introduction. 
Why would any government introduce a system that makes caring for a disabled child more difficult and stressful?
That's why we're asking you to write to your MP asking them to raise this hidden issue in Parliament and with the Minister for Disabled People.


Following a legal challenge, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions announced disabled adults who are facing cuts in payments when moving onto Universal Credit will be protected. We are disappointed that disabled children are not protected in the same way.

What we want

We have produced a Universal Credit briefing [PDF], and we are calling on the government to:

  • Reverse cuts to the lower disabled child element under Universal Credit. TAKE ACTION to stop the £175 million cut
  • Continue to pay Universal Credit to parents whose disabled child is living away from home solely due to their disability.

We also support calls to suspend the rollout and 'managed migration' of claimants onto Universal Credit.

What we are doing

We have:

  • launched our Counting the Costs campaign to stop the £175 million cut from disabled children under Universal Credit.
  • been working with Leigh Day solicitors to identify families that might want to challenge the cuts to disabled children's payments using the Courts. Please contact TGregory@leighday.co.uk if you want to find out more. You are under no obligation and legal aid could be available.
  • been briefing MPs, peers and officials on the impact of Universial Credit on disabled children; read our Universal Credit briefing.

What you can do

  • If you have experience of claiming Universial Credit and would like to help our campaign, please get in touch with una.summerson@contact.org.uk  

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