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We are bringing compensation claims for people who have moved onto Universal Credit before 16th January 2019, and have lost their severe disability premium.
We estimate that a single person, who was moved onto Universal Credit a year before 16 January 2019, has lost just over £4000 over the last year. This figure increases to just under £8,000 for a couple on universal credit who have lost their severe disability premium.

claiming for yourself universal credit compensation form third party claiming universal credit compensation form

We are unable to add you to the claim at present.  If we are able to assist you we will be in touch.

Find out more about the claims, and whether you might be able to make a claim, below:

Why claim compensation for Universal Credit?

The removal of the severe disability premium has been ruled unlawful and as a result we are bringing claims (on a no win, no fee basis) against the government, in particular the Department of Work and Pensions. These claims are being brought for people who have suffered the loss of their premiums as a result of being put on Universal Credit before 16 January 2019.

How to bring a claim for Universal Credit

Please complete the enquiry form or alternatively you can contact us by email or telephone 0161 804 0760. If you are making the enquiry on behalf of someone else then please this form.
If you have previously been claiming what are called ‘legacy benefits’, which include Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), with a severe disability premium and have lost these payments following a move to Universal Credit, we would also like to hear from you.

Why Leigh Day?

Our lawyers have more than 30 years’ experience of taking these types of cases on behalf of individuals, challenging the government over decisions which have been found to be unlawful. We have worked on hundreds of cases.

 Excellent service, very clear and helpful. Highly recommend, Leigh Day do all the work, you just have to give them your information. I have used Leigh Day twice to fight my corner. They also explain everything to you, if unsure of anything they go over it with you. – Geraldine Pearson

claiming for yourself universal credit compensation form third party claiming universal credit compensation form


Universal Credit claim FAQs

Who can bring a claim?

We would like to hear from anyone who made a claim for Universal Credit before 16th January 2019 and had previously, before that date, claimed a benefit which had an additional award of a severe disability premium.
If you claimed the following ‘legacy’ benefits you may have also been in receipt of severe disability premium:
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance [‘JSA’]
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance [‘ESA’]
  • If this applies to you or one of your services users, please get in touch by filling out one of our forms, or alternatively you can contact us by email or telephone 0161 804 0760.

How much will I be compensated?

We will be seeking damages for the full amount of severe disability premium that you may have lost since your claim for Universal Credit was made. (This would not include any backdated amounts paid to you by the DWP, these are known as ‘pecuniary damages’).
We will also be claiming what is known as ‘non-pecuniary damages’ for mental suffering, distress, anxiety, humiliation and disruption to life, which will be based on the upheaval and inconvenience caused by the move to Universal Credit and any health issues you may have suffered as a result.

We cannot give an exact figure for the compensation, should your claim be successful, but we will keep you updated throughout the claim. You don’t pay anything if the claim is not successful.

Do I have to pay anything?

Claims will be brought under a ‘no win no fee agreement’, with Leigh Day taking 25% plus VAT of any non-pecuniary damages awarded.

This means that if the claims are not successful, you will not have to pay any of our fees, and if we win, you get to keep any back-dated benefits in full. Leigh Day will only make a deduction for the work we do, from any ‘non-pecuniary damages’ awarded.

What about the DWP compensation payments?

The government has recently begun making transitional payments to some of those who have lost their Severe Disability Premium following migration to Universal Credit. It is not yet clear exactly who will actually receive these payments and we are keeping the situation under review.
If you, or one of your service users, has received a backdated payment then they will be eligible to join our claim for further compensation. Our Human Rights team has written to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to seek clarification on how they arrived at the relevant figures. More information on this can be found here.
Our group claim is therefore still necessary to ensure that claimants are awarded backdated benefits in full, as well as an additional amount in compensation to reflect any pain and distress caused by the removal of the severe disability premium following migration to Universal Credit.
If this applies to you or one of your services users, please get in touch by filling out one of our forms, or alternatively you can contact us by email or telephone 0161 804 0760.

How long will the claims take?

Whilst it is impossible to give an entirely accurate estimate, as this will depend on the attitude of the DWP, we anticipate that this claim could take between 12 to 24 months to be resolved.

Could bringing a claim affect my benefit entitlement?

Bringing a claim for the loss of severe disability premium and/or Enhanced Disability Premium is completely separate to appealing a benefits decision in the social security tribunals, and so will not affect your ongoing benefit entitlement.
Bringing a claim will not automatically trigger a reassessment of your benefit.

Do I need to provide medical evidence?

No - however you may be required to provide medical evidence in order to prove that you have suffered particular mental suffering, distress and anxiety over and above what would be expected due to a sudden and ongoing loss of income.

Is there a time limit to bring a claim?

We will assess whether your claim is in time at the point we receive your enquiry. However the sooner you contact us, after receiving any backdated payment, the better.

ow difficult will the claim be?

We understand that life can get in the way of legal action, and the thought of bringing a claim can be daunting. As your claim will be part of a group action you will be one of many who are claiming. We have systems in place to make it as easy as possible and are happy to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that bringing a claim is not difficult or onerous.
Once we have received evidence of your losses you may have as much, or as little, involvement as you like. Additionally, as noted above, you may engage with the claim through an adviser or another intermediary.

I live outside of England & Wales, can you represent me?

In the UK our Courts and legal system are divided into three areas, or jurisdictions, these are: England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Scotland: If you live in Scotland, we will seek an agreement that your claim can be pursued in the Courts of England & Wales, as yet we do not know whether this will be allowed. However we hope that the more enquiries from Scotland that we receive the stronger the chance will be that we will be able to pursue these claims on behalf of Scottish Universal Credit Claimants.
If you would like your claim to be dealt with in Scotland, we recommend that you contact local advice services as we are unable to pursue this action in the Scottish Courts.

Northern Ireland: Unfortunately we will not be able to deal with enquiries received from people based in Northern Ireland and would recommend that local advice services are contacted.

Download the full Universal Credit FAQs document

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