DWP may pay out £1,550 as millions miss out on payment rise – ‘like we don’t matter!’

The DWP oversees a number of payments, but is slowly phasing out older schemes to place people onto Universal Credit as a streamlined benefit. This has not yet been completed in full, and as a result, many people remain on older, so-called “legacy benefits”. During the pandemic, claimants on Universal Credit were provided with a temporary uplift to their benefit, worth £20 per week.

“Everyone on benefits should be treated equally. They have made me feel like disabled people don’t matter.

“During the pandemic, prices were steadily increasing but benefits remained the same, which was a struggle. 

“With everyone at home all the time, our bills soared – our electricity bill doubled – and I’ve had to pay it all myself with no extra support. 

“I had to buy a laptop for my daughter to do her online learning, so could have saved that £20 a week to pay for it instead of getting in to debt to buy it.”

This morning, a number of groups have staged a rally outside of the High Court, stating they demand justice for those impacted.

Groups include Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), and the Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC), alongside a network of over 100 organisations including Z2K, the MS Society, MND Association, and Leonard Cheshire.

Ellen Clifford, on behalf of the DPAC, said: “The Government’s failure to apply the £20 uplift to disabled people on legacy benefits was nothing short of discrimination. 

“In so doing they chose to disregard the fact that disabled people’s unavoidable expenditure went up the most as a direct consequence of the pandemic.

“In the sixth richest country in the world no one should be left too poor to bathe, too poor to do their laundry, too poor to eat and to heat. 

“This at the same time as disabled people have been in desperate fear for their lives with a minimum 60 percent of Covid-related deaths being those of disabled people and many of those on legacy benefits isolated and shielding for well over a year. 

“This is one injustice that could be put right so easily and at relatively little expense to the Treasury by providing a back payment to those who lost out. 

“It’s a terrible indictment that the attainment of justice once again rests on the backs of a few individual disabled people courageous enough to challenge the Government in the High Court.”

The disability equality charity Scope has also commented, stating that whatever the outcome of the case it was a “mistake” to exclude some individuals from the benefits uplift.

Louise Rubin, head of policy at Scope, added: “The decision to withhold support from disabled people who receive legacy benefits caused many to feel abandoned.

“We’re hurtling towards a cost of living crisis, but yet again disabled people are being abandoned by Government. 

“Levelling up means nothing if disabled people are left behind.” 

A DWP spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “We do not comment on live court cases. It has always been the case that those who think they may be better off on Universal Credit can make a claim.”

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