Mental Health Charity Mind Calls For Action On Issues Around Universal Credit

Lucy Donoughue
By Lucy Donoughue,
updated on Jun 8, 2018

Mental Health Charity Mind Calls For Action On Issues Around Universal Credit

Mind calls for Government to repay those suffering financially as a result of Universal Credit

Following the release of Government Statistics yesterday which outlined that at least 4,000 disabled people receiving the severe disability premium are worse off as a result of the move to Universal Credit, mental health charity Mind called for immediate action to repay those who are out of pocket as a result of this change.

The Government has announced that they will make sure that thousands of people currently receiving this premium won't have to move onto Universal Credit until there are protections in place. They have also agreed to repay people who have suffered financially as a result, although, people making entirely new claims to Universal Credit will no longer be eligible for any premiums.

Esther McVey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions said: “In order to support the transition for those individuals who live alone with substantial care needs and receive the Severe Disability Premium, we are changing the system so that these claimants will not be moved to Universal Credit until they qualify for transitional protection. In addition, we will provide both an ongoing payment to claimants who have already lost this Premium as a consequence of moving to Universal Credit and an additional payment to cover the period since they moved.” Her full statement can be read here.

In response, Vicki Nash, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Mind said: “It’s really concerning that thousands of people with mental health problems lost much-needed income in the move over to Universal Credit, and hundreds of thousands more were left living in fear that it could happen to them. It’s right that the Government will repay those affected. What’s most important now is that they work quickly to identify and reimburse the people who have already lost their premiums. We’re seeking confirmation from the Government that everyone who is out of pocket under Universal Credit will be reimbursed.

“The premiums were introduced so that disabled people who live independently could get the support they need to make ends meet. Many people with mental health problems rely on this money to get to appointments, to see friends and family, and to live independent lives. If the Government is really committed to supporting people with mental health problems to have control over their own lives, they must reintroduce these premiums for anyone making a claim to Universal Credit.”

Many others lent their voice to the discussion on Twitter. Dr Philippa Whitford, MP for Central Ayrshire tweeted, “#UniversalCredit might make benefits simpler for the U.K. Government - but makes it much worse for individuals. And shifts the burden of picking up the pieces to local authorities & NHS.” Others shared the impact the change has had on their daily lives.

You can find more information on Universal Credit here.

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