Universal Credit

4 mins read

Stop cuts to Universal Credit

100,000 families with disabled children will be worse off by more than £1,800 per year as a result of the 50% cut to the child disability payment under Universal Credit. That’s  £180 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 £1,800 a year is likely to result in increased debt, stress and ill health.

There are other features of Universal Credit that are having a negative impact on families with disabled children. Such as the difficulties for disabled young people in education. 

We have produced a Universal Credit briefing [PDF] that explains all the issues in more detail. You can also download our factsheet  Claiming Universal Credit for a young disabled person [PDF]

Many parents are astounded at the complexities surrounding claiming universal credit. Our research shows 7 in 10 families are worried about the introduction of Universal Credit.  

Parents tell us that it is very difficult to source specialist advice locally.

‘I may have given up on the claim had it not been for your advice and continued support.  My local advice organisation told me that my son would not qualify and the Jobcentre gave the same incorrect advice.’  

What we want

Our Universal Credit campaign is calling on the government to:

  • Stop the £180 million cut to the lower disabled child addition under Universal Credit. This would benefit more than 100,000 disabled children and their families.  
  • Stop the Universal Credit takeaway in hospital,residential care and the rules that restrict disabled young people who are treated as ‘receiving education’ from being able to claim Universal Credit. This would benefit around 1500-2000 disabled children and their families. Download our factsheet  Claiming Universal Credit for a young disabled person [PDF]
  • Increase access to specialist telephone advice, such as that offered through our helpline, so families don’t miss out on Universal Credit when they are asked to claim via new claims, change of circumstances and via managed migration.  

What we are doing

  • Families handed our petition about cuts child disability payments to the Prime Minister at Downing Street in June. Thank you to the 5000 supporters who signed our petition.  The response didn’t address the issued 
  • An Early Day Motion (EDM) has been tabled by Caroline Lucas MP for Brighton supported by more than 90 MPs (one of the top supported EDM in the last year).
  • More than 1000 of our supporters have written to their MPs about cuts to child disability payments under Universal Credit. As a result 35 MPs wrote to the DWP about cuts to child disability payments under Universal Credit.
  • We have supported a number of parents to speak to the media about the impact of Unversial Credit.
  • 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 Universal Credit on disabled children; read our Universal Credit briefing
  • 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 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  
  • You can help us by donating to our Lifeline Appeal, for every £10 you give we can secure £130 into the pockets of families with disabled children. 

Need help understanding Universal Credit?