Go back a step

Contact responds to Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, linking Universal Credit with foodbank use

Tuesday 12th February 2019

Una Summerson, Head of Policy at Contact, the charity for families with disabled children, said: "We were pleased to hear Amber Rudd MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, admit yesterday that Universal Credit roll out is linked to increased foodbank use. This reflects what we are hearing from families with disabled children who call our Family Finances helpline.

"But it is wrong to say that this was just down to initial roll out. Families with disabled children we support are still being forced to use foodbanks due to current administration errors within the Universal Credit system. Errors in calculation of childcare and earnings, can have huge knock on effects, and take weeks or months to resolve. This can push families already struggling financially into serious hardship. We are hearing from families with disabled children who are in receipt of Universal Credit and say they have been forced to use foodbanks, are in arrears with their rent and mortgage and moved into debt management programmes, often as a result of administration errors."

Contact has also been highlighting cuts to financial support for families with disabled children that will see 100,000 worse off by more than £1,750 per year as a result of the 50% cut to the lower child disability addition under Universal Credit. 

Una Summerson added: "Despite the government announcement in January that managed migration onto Universal Credit has been paused, tens of thousands of families will still have to make a claim for Universal Credit this year. We are calling on the government to scrap the cuts to the disability addition and Make Universal Credit Fair for Disabled Children and their families. We are failing families who contribute so much and we must do better."

Get advice

For advice on what Universal Credit means for your family, please visit our webpages written by our specialist family finances helpline or call our free Helpline on 0808 808 3555.

Funding for our family finances helpline runs out in less than 6 months.Our Lifeline Appeal is raising vital funds to keep our Family Finances Helpline open. For every £10 you give to our Lifeline Appeal, Contact can secure £130 in the pockets of families with disabled children.

If you can, Please donate to our Lifeline Appeal today and help save our Family Finances Helpline.