More than 100,000 people are calling on the government to stop the “cruel” exclusion of many beneficiaries from additional support during the coronavirus pandemic.
In April, universal loan recipients were given a premium of £ 1,040 a year – around £ 20 a week or £ 80 a month.
And although this is expected to end in April 2021, there has been increasing demand for the bonus to be applied to other social security schemes as well.
In the last step, Chancellor Rishi Sunak is handed a petition demanding that the increase be extended to other services.
The signatures were collected by the Disability Benefits Consortium, a network of more than 100 organizations, according to which thousands of people with health problems or disabilities have faced “immense difficulties” as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.
It is said that those who have not yet switched from previous benefits to Universal Credit have not received a payment increase, despite having to spend more on safe food access, access to and from medical appointments, and care during the pandemic.
The DBC’s petition not to leave the disabled behind has been signed more than 119,000 times and will be delivered to Rishi Sunak on Wednesday, November 18.
The consortium calls for an end to what it calls the “discriminatory two-tier welfare state”.
Kevin Whitworth of the Isle of Lewis, who suffered brain damage after falling about a decade ago, has been receiving an Employment and Support Grant (ESA) since 2016.
He said, “Money is tight and I make a living on cereal. If I had an extra £ 20 I would be able to eat properly again.”
“It’s really unfair that people like me don’t get the same amount of help with legacy older benefits that I get with Universal Credit – we need money too.”
Karen Pickering from the west coast of Scotland was diagnosed with recurrent multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2007.
She said, “If I’m stuck at home for the past seven months, my cost of living has gone up. I can’t just come out to get a loaf of bread, so I have to pay for regular grocery deliveries. I can’t go out every day to.” walking my dog but having to pay for a dog walker – it all adds up. “
Ella Abraham, DBC’s campaign co-chair, said: “For people with disabilities and others who receive elderly benefits, denying the £ 20 per week life limit given to those with universal credit means one real emergency.
“It is unacceptable that the government should claim that only those in financial need are those who have had to apply for universal credit because of the pandemic.
“The government must seize this opportunity in the upcoming spending review to act now to end this discriminatory two tier welfare state and ensure that the two million people who are receiving legacy benefits receive this vital additional support and are no longer left behind.”
A government spokesman said: “We are fully committed to helping disabled people through the pandemic to increase welfare by £ 9.3 billion to help those most in need introduce the Covid Winter Support Package for people on low incomes and provide £ 3.7 billion. ” local authorities to deal with pressure on local services, including adult social care. “