Disabled people in Stockport can be more than £300 a month worse off under Universal Credit, Citizens Advice Stockport reveals

Citizens Advice Stockport has said some disabled people in the area could be around £300 a month worse off under Universal Credit compared to the previous system.

The new benefit – which rolls 6 legacy benefits such as Jobseeker’s Allowance into one monthly payment – is set to be rolled out in Stockport on 21st November.

A report published by national Citizens Advice – Universal Credit for Single Disabled People – revealed a significant drop in financial support for some single disabled people in a range of circumstances.

This includes losses that can be more than £300 a month for working disabled people because of flaws in the design of the new benefit. 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.

Universal Credit is the government’s flagship welfare programme that rolls 6 legacy benefits – such as Tax Credits and Employment and Support Allowance – into one monthly payment.

Citizens Advice Stockport calling on the government to make changes to the design of Universal Credit to make sure disabled people aren’t penalised when they claim the new benefit.

Steve Hughes – Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Stockport, said:

“We are concerned about the toll Universal Credit could have on disabled people in Stockport.

 “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.” 

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, Stockport Job Centre and Citizens Advice Stockport have been working together to ensure communities across the borough are prepared and supported through the rollout of Universal Credit.

Citizens Advice Stockport has a dedicated webpage to support with Universal Credit issues and advice – www.castockport.org.uk/universalcredit

 

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Contact – press@castockport.org.uk

  • Universal Credit full service is being rolled out across the Borough of Stockport on 21st November 2018.
  • Citizens Advice Stockport will be delivering Universal Support from April 2019 inline with the DWP announcement.
  • The advice provided by Citizens Advice Stockport (CAS) is free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  • To get advice online visit www.castockport.org.uk
  • In 2017/18, we helped over 7,250 people with 22,500 issues via face-to-face, telephone, email and web chat.
  • You can get telephone advice from Citizens Advice Stockport on 0300 3309 075
  • Citizens Advice Stockport is supported by over 60 trained volunteers giving advice and guidance across the Borough of Stockport.