Covid-19: Disabled People on Legacy Benefits

Women and Equalities – in the House of Commons on 7th July 2021.

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Photo of Chris Elmore Chris Elmore Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Scotland)

What discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to ensure the adequacy of support for disabled people on legacy benefits during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The Government are committed to supporting disabled people affected by the covid-19 outbreak, including those who claim legacy benefits. We have delivered an unprecedented package of support, injecting billions into the welfare system, and we continue to monitor the impact on disabled people while ensuring that they are able to access the support that they need.

Photo of Chris Elmore Chris Elmore Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Scotland)

The Minister claims that legacy payments were not increased because disabled people have not faced additional costs during the pandemic, but the Disability Benefits Consortium found that 82% of disabled people have had to spend more money than they normally would during the pandemic. So will he set out for the House what evidence he is basing his assumptions on, because disabled people really do deserve better from this Government?

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

I will get the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work to write to the hon. Gentleman, but he will be aware that we spend £57 billion on benefits to support disabled people and people with health conditions. At the same time, we have reformed employment and support allowance in the light of covid and brought in supportive changes to statutory sick pay, local housing allowance and the Access to Work programme. We continue to support the disabled into work.