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Former claimants of Severe Disability Premium launch legal case for lost benefit income

A legal case has been launched by 275 severely disabled people over a claim for lost income under universal credit rules.

10 June 2020

The claimants, represented by Leigh Day solicitors, have sent a Pre Action Protocol letter to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Therese Coffey.
 
They argue that they have missed out on £170 a month because they were moved on to universal credit before January, 2019 when the Department for Work and Pensions introduced the Severe Disability Premium (SDP) Gateway system. 
 
The SDP Gateway ensures that certain severely disabled claimants are only transferred from legacy benefits on to universal credit under a ‘managed migration’ process to ensure that those who are entitled to the severe disability premium do not end up worse off under the new benefits system which is being rolled out across the UK.
 
In their letter to the SSWP, 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.
 
Leigh Day solicitors 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:
 
“All 275 of our claimants were previously in receipt of the Severe Disability Premium under the legacy benefits system. They migrated on to universal credit before the introduction of the SDP Gateway.
 
“Our clients argue that they suffered unjustified discrimination and a net loss of over £170 a month, in many cases £180 a month.”
 
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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