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Contact delivers petition to stop Universal Credit cuts to 10 Downing Street

Wednesday 20th June 2018

Today we're delivering a petition to Downing Street today calling on the government to stop the cuts to disability payments for children under Universal Credit.

Universal Credit, which is being rolled out across the UK, today finally reaches the door of 10 Downing Street and surrounding Westminster residents.

At the beginning of June the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions announced a package of changes to Universal Credit to protect disabled adults who are facing cuts in payments when moving onto Universal Credit.

Families face cuts of £1,750 a year

Contact is disappointed that disabled children and their families are not protected in the same way. Currently some families with a disabled child moving onto Universal Credit face a cut of around £1,750 a year in the amount they receive for their disabled child. 

Una Summerson, Head of Policy at Contact, said: "It doesn't make sense that disabled adults get protections against Universal Credit cuts, but not disabled children who face the same extra costs.

"More than 5,000 families with disabled children have come together to sign this petition. We are calling on the government to urgently take action to protect families with disabled children who are facing cuts to disability payments under Universal Credit".

Under Universal Credit, a payment known as the lower disabled child element has been halved. As a result, families who are moved onto Universal Credit currently face a cut of more than £1,750 a year in the amount they receive for their disabled child.

This applies to all disabled children except for those on the highest rate of the Disability Living Allowance care component (or the equivalent rate of Personal Independence Payment) and those who are registered blind.

"This would be a nightmare"

Marie Collins from Battersea, mum to two boys aged six and seven who have ADHD and Autism, said: "I am in a Universal Credit area and been told that if I move onto the new benefit I will lose £67 each week or £3500 a year, because of cuts to disability payments for the boys. Things are a struggle anyhow, so this would be a nightmare.

"It seems unfair that families who already have lots to deal with raising our children who have additional needs are being made to struggle even more."

Kathleen Max-Lino from Peckham, mum to two disabled children with sickle cell disease and speech and language difficulties, said: "When I am moved onto Universal Credit I will get £33 a week less for my disabled daughter. It would be very difficult for us as a family to deal with such a big cut in our monthly income despite all the extra costs associated with my daughter's disabilities remaining the same."

Find out more about our campaign to stop Universal Credit cuts.