Dis­abled ‘worse off’

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Front Page -

DIS­ABLED peo­ple in Hal­ton can be more than £300 a month worse off un­der Uni­ver­sal Credit.

Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Hal­ton has said that some dis­abled peo­ple in Widnes and Run­corn could be around £300 a month worse off com­pared to the pre­vi­ous sys­tem.

The char­ity has helped 1,794 peo­ple with Uni­ver­sal Credit since it was rolled out in Novem­ber 2014.

Of these, 889 were dis­abled or had a long-term health con­di­tion.

A re­port pub­lished by Na­tional Cit­i­zens Ad­vice on Fri­day re­vealed a sig­nif­i­cant drop in fi­nan­cial sup­port for some sin­gle dis­abled peo­ple in a range of cir­cum­stances.

The Work Al­lowance is meant to im­prove work in­cen­tives for dis­abled peo­ple in Uni­ver­sal Credit. How­ever, in prac­tice, the Work Al­lowance can only be ac­cessed through the Work Ca­pa­bil­ity As­sess­ment, which gives ben­e­fits awards to peo­ple un­able to work, rather than for dis­abled peo­ple who can work.

This cre­ates the sit­u­a­tion where a worker must be as­sessed as not fit for work to re­ceive tar­geted in-work sup­port.

Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Hal­ton is call­ing on the Gov­ern­ment to make changes to the de­sign and the amount of fi­nan­cial sup­port in Uni­ver­sal Credit to make sure dis­abled peo­ple are not pe­nalised when they claim the new ben­e­fit.

Hitesh Pa­tel, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Hal­ton, said: “We see the toll that Uni­ver­sal Credit can have on dis­abled peo­ple in Widnes and Run­corn.

“They can be hun­dreds of pounds worse off than un­der the pre­vi­ous sys­tem – even when they do get the sup­port meant for them. This money is des­per­ately needed to cover key costs in­clud­ing es­sen­tial bills and stop peo­ple fall­ing into se­ri­ous fi­nan­cial dif­fi­culty.

“The Gov­ern­ment must fix Uni­ver­sal Credit and in­crease the fi­nan­cial sup­port dis­abled peo­ple can re­ceive un­der the new ben­e­fit”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.