We have recently received several requests for more information about the Severe Disability Premium that is scheduled to be abolished with the introduction of the Universal Credit.
The Severe Disability Premium (SDP) currently gives additional support to disabled adults who receive the middle rate or higher rate of the care component of DLA and live on their own (or just with children) with no assistance from a carer who is paid carer’s allowance. This additional support helps to cover the additional costs of both living alone with a disability and having no carer. For disabled parents, receiving the premium can help reduce the pressure on their children, often of school age, to care for them.
The Government is abolishing the Severe Disability Premium as part of the introduction of Universal Credit. This will most obviously affect new claimants in the first instance and will cost disabled adults with no-one to care for them, or with only a young carer, about £58 per week (over £3000 per year).
New claimants would in other words be affected by the changes as soon as they start to receive Universal Credit. Current benefit claimants will not see their benefit cut immediately as a result of ‘transitional protection’ against losses under Universal Credit. However, they will have their level of benefit frozen with no rises to take account of rising prices.
The Hardest Hit coalition has set out its own preferred recommendations with Citizens Advice, Disability Rights UK and others arguing the SDP should be retained in full.