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Claimants with severe disability premium prevented from claiming universal credit

01 February 2019

From 16 January 2019 new regulations prevent those receiving the severe disability premium (SDP) in a working age benefit means tested benefit from being able to claim universal credit.

Following The Universal Credit (Transitional Provisions) (SDP Gateway) Amendment Regulations 2019, no  universal credit claim can be made by a single claimant who, or joint couple claimants either of whom, is entitled to - or has been within the last month - an award of income support, income-related employment and support allowance, income-based jobseeker's allowance or housing benefit that includes a severe disability premium.

Such claimants will instead be able to continue to claim the above existing ‘legacy benefits’ and tax credits.

This means that they will only move to universal credit via ‘managed migration’ and will at that time be eligible for transitional protection so safeguarding their existing benefit entitlement.

The Government has said that it will also introduce ‘SDP transitional payments’ for those eligible claimants who have already lost the SDP because of moving to universal credit through a change of circumstances (‘natural migration’).

This will be by providing an ongoing monthly payment, and an additional lump-sum payment to cover the period since they moved.

However, there is no date at present as to when these ‘SDP transitional payments’ will be introduced.

The DWP has issued new guidance to local authorities - HB Circular A1/2019 in relation to those housing benefit claimants affected by the new SDP gateway condition.

We have also updated the following factsheets to include information on the new SDP gateway condition:

What is the severe disability premium?

The severe disability premium (SDP) can be awarded in addition to any other premium that may be payable. It is £62.45 a week for each person who qualifies.

To qualify:

  • you must receive one of these ‘qualifying benefits’. These are

attendance allowance

disability living allowance care component at the middle or highest rate

personal independence payment daily living component

armed forces independence payment; and

  • no one gets carer’s allowance for looking after you; and

  • you are living alone or is technically counted as living alone.

Couples can get £124.90 a week if both receive an SDP qualifying benefit.