Meeting the needs of all children and families with disabilities
The introduction of the new universal credit benefit from 2013 will cause huge changes to financial support for millions of children and families across the country. No group stands to be more affected than families with disabilities or health problems.
For example, changes to support for children with disabilities could cost families as much as £28 per week - a significant amount of money. For 25,000 lone parents with young carers, the situation is even more difficult – the abolition of the severe disability premium - support paid to disabled adults with no one else to support them, or who only have children to look after them - could mean a decrease of up to £58 per week.
To assess the impact of the changes on disabled people, we are working with Citizens Advice and Disability Rights UK to support Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson in producing a review of support for people with disabilities under universal credit.
Gathering evidence on the universal credit's effects
Our new report, Disability and the universal credit, begins this process.
Rather than emphasising individual changes affecting disabled people, the report sets out the 'holistic' impact of the reforms through a series of scenarios illustrating the effects of the changes on a series of example household types.
For example, the scenarios show how a lone parent with a disabled child could lose £31 as a result of the combined impact of the reductions in support for children with disabilities, and reductions in council tax benefit.
While the parent gains income when she moves into work, she can wind up significantly worse off than under the current system if she requires substantial support with childcare costs. She could even begin to lose money for working longer as a result of lower childcare support than under the current system.
Over the summer we will be supporting Tanni in gathering and analysing further evidence on the impacts of universal credit on people with disabilities, and in September will produce our final report. We will use the evidence we gather to work with the government to ensure that universal credit works for all people with disabilities.
- Take our survey for Tanni’s review
- Respond to the government’s consultation on the universal credit regulations
By Sam Royston, Policy Adviser
Read more and take action
- Learn about our policy and lobbying work in support of disabled young people and their families
- Read the press release concerning this work, New report reveals how universal credit changes will hit disabled hardest
- Help all children in poverty receive a free school meal - join our Fair and Square campaign