Up to 500,000 beneficiaries have been warned that they run the risk of being forced into universal credit.
Between January 16, 2019 and January 27, 2021, a block was set up to prevent people with Income Support, Unemployment Benefit (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Housing Benefit, or Pension Credit from being forced to take universal credit if you also receive a charge called SDP (Severe Disability Premium).
This should prevent them from suffering a severe drop in income.
As this transition protection policy ends today, applicants could switch to Universal Credit.
Charities say some people may be worse off – although ministers insist that the majority will benefit The mirror reports.
Those who get SDP and switch to UC receive monthly transition payments of £ 120, £ 285 or £ 405 – but these are eroded over time.
They are beaten off when an applicant receives a new or major element of any part of their UC, other than childcare.
This suggests that it will be impossible for many to be certain of how much money they will receive in the future.
A DWP spokesman said: “The money from the old disability bonuses will now be used more effectively to support the most severely disabled.
“When fully implemented, the Universal Loan will be £ 2 billion per year more generous than the support it replaces.
“Eligible persons who have previously received the Severe Disability Award can receive transition payments of up to £ 405 per month.”
Labor and Pension Minister Therese Coffey says severely disabled people should consider moving to UC voluntarily.
She told MPs this week, “I want to encourage people to consider this move because we as a department are confident that the majority of people would certainly be better off.”
But Citizens Advice, Disability Rights UK and the charity Z2K urged people to seek advice first.
One of DWP’s own ministers, Will Quince, also accepted applicants who were required to check performance calculators online.
Once people apply to Universal Credit, they lose the right to revert to their previous benefits.
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Carlos Hagi, benefits expert at Citizens Advice, told Der Spiegel: “It is important to seek independent advice before voluntarily switching to Universal Credit from any other benefit that includes a bonus for severe disabilities.
“Once you’ve moved there is no way you can undo your decision and you may find it worse despite the temporary increase in the Universal Loan.”
“Citizens Advice can provide free assistance to help you make the best decision.”
Applicants may also be forced to contact UC if their circumstances change – such as a change of address, the beginning or end of a relationship, or the birth of a child. This ends the existing services and triggers an automatic entitlement to universal credit.
Louise Rubin of the Scope charity said the “poorly timed change” amid the third nationwide lockdown would create “fear and insecurity” for some of the UK’s most vulnerable.
She added: “Disability allowances are not a luxury, they help to cover the additional costs of disabled people.
“They should never have been cut out of the welfare system under the universal credit.
“With disabled people bearing the brunt of the pandemic, financial support is needed now more than ever.
“Many who shield their homes and face rising energy costs are now in constant danger of their vital premiums being eroded.”