Universal Credit and Severe Disability Premium

From 24 July 2019 the government said they will start compensating people who had to claim Universal Credit (UC) due to a change of circumstances and lost their Severe Disability Premium (SDP) as a result. Compensation ranges from £120 to £405 per month depending on your circumstances and, if awarded, will be added to your UC for future payments for as long as you remain entitled to them, as well as a backdated payment being made.

The SDP is an additional rate of benefit worth £65.85 per week paid with Housing Benefit, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support and Employment and Support Allowance if the claimant also receives a qualifying disability benefit, has no-one that claims Carer’s Allowance or the Carer’s Element of UC in respect of looking after them and either lives alone or only lives with children and/or other people receiving a qualifying disability benefit.

To be entitled to the compensation, you must have been entitled to receive an SDP in the month immediately before you claimed UC, and crucially must still meet the criteria to be entitled to an SDP at the time the government looks at your claim for you to be entitled to any compensation.

It is not clear how long this process will take, but if your circumstances change before they look at your claim you could miss out.

The government has said that those claiming an SDP will not be able to claim UC until at least 21 January 2021, and will still be able to claim the pre-existing benefits available for their circumstances.

The SDP can still be added to claims now if you are not already claiming UC and you meet the criteria. Contact Jobcentre Plus via the enquiry line on 0800 169 0310, or your local authority for Housing Benefit claims.

If you think this might apply to you and would like advice, please contact Customer Services on 0300 123 5544 and ask to speak to a Welfare Benefits Advisor.