To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of disabled people who will be naturally migrated to universal credit and lose access to transitional protection as a result of changes in the date for managed migration.
Managed migration will commence in July 2019 and up to 10,000 claimants will be migrated as part of the testing period, which will ensure that we can move claimants smoothly when we begin to migrate higher volumes of claimants. As such, we have not yet settled on a detailed plan for the managed migration process beyond 2020, including the order in which we will move cases over. It is not possible therefore to provide an accurate estimate at this stage beyond those set out by the Office for Budget Responsibility in their latest Economic and Fiscal Outlook publication.
There are provisions in the draft Universal Credit (Managed Migration) 2018 regulations laid on 5 November, which prevent claimants in receipt of the Severe Disability Premium from migrating naturally to Universal Credit, and so these vulnerable claimants will not be moved to Universal Credit until they qualify for transitional protection. In addition, the draft regulations also make provision for an on-going payment to claimants who have already lost this premium as a consequence of moving to Universal Credit and an additional payment to cover the period since they moved. The benefits for disabled claimants in these regulations are, however, subject to parliamentary approval. Overall, many disabled people will be better off on Universal Credit as it provides a higher level of support for the most severely disabled people than the benefits it replaces.