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Disabled benefit claimants issue claim for lost income under universal credit system

More than 300 severely disabled people have issued a claim in the High Court for lost income under the universal credit system.

15 July 2020

The group, represented by Leigh Day solicitors, say they have each missed out on at least £170 a month since they were moved on to universal credit as the new benefits system has been rolled out across the UK.
 
All of the group were moved on to the system before January, 2019 and lost the severe disability premium which they had previously claimed, which left them worse off.
 
However, severely disabled people who have been moved on to universal credit since January 2019 have not missed out on the severe disability premium.
 
Instead, their universal credit claims have been managed by the Severe Disability premium Gateway system which has been put in place to ensure that severely disabled benefits claimants do not end up worse off under the universal credit system.
 
The claimants argue that they have suffered because of the unlawful implementation of the Universal Credit  (Transitional Provisions) 2014, the SDP Gateway Regulations, January 2019, and the Managed Migrations Regulations 2019.
They claim they have suffered discrimination under Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
 
The claim has been issued after Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Therese Coffey, failed to substantively respond to a Pre Action Protocol letter sent on the claimants’ behalf by Leigh Day solicitors.
 
They believe that up to 13,000 disabled people in the UK have been affected by the change and may be entitled to make a claim to retrieve lost benefit payments.
 
Leigh Day solicitor Ryan Bradshaw said:
 
“Our clients believe that it clearly cannot be right that they find themselves £170 a month worse off under the universal credit system when other claimants have the assurance that they will not be worse off on universal credit.”
 
The claimants are asking the SSWP for compensation equal to the amount of money they have lost following their transfer to universal credit, for their previous level of benefits to be restored and maintained until a lawful migration scheme is established, and for compensation for the stress they have been caused.

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