Heidi Allen, MP relieved to hear of Government’s change of stance on benefit payments for the most vulnerable claimants

Heidi Allen, MP welcomed Monday’s announcement by the DWP that claimants entitled to the severe disability premium (SDP) would be given ‘ongoing transitional payments’ as they move across to Universal Credit.

From today, disabled constituents who were entitled to the SDP in legacy benefit systems who are moved onto Universal Credit will keep those payments. Claimants who have already moved to Universal Credit will be able to submit a claim for a backdated payment.

Amber Rudd, Work and Pensions Secretary announced that these claimants will be entitled to SDP level support, which could be up to £405 per month alongside their Universal Credit benefit. It is estimated that 45,000 of the most vulnerable claimants will benefit over the next six years.

Heidi, a member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee since 2015 had campaigned hard to challenge the DWP’s approach to Severe Disability Premium claimants. The Committee renewed pressure on the Department following a High Court case in May which found that disabled claimants were being unfairly discriminated against by not receiving SDP support through Universal Credit.

Heidi said ‘It is disappointing that yet again, it has taken a court case for the Government to do what is right and protect these most vulnerable claimants as they move across to Universal Credit. In addition to these payments being available to claimants moving onto Universal Credit in the future, retrospective claims will be available to those who have already moved across. To claim monies owed, I would urge anyone affected to contact their Job Centre Work Coach. I will continue to relentlessly pursue the Government until Universal Credit is fit for purpose and is operating as the compassionate, effective welfare safety net it was designed to be. If he wants to make a real impact, the new Prime Minister must end the Universal Credit 5 week wait for all claimants – so I hope Boris Johnson is listening.’