Universal Credit: Severe Disability Premium

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 27th January 2020.

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Photo of Tommy Sheppard Tommy Sheppard Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate her Department has made of the number of universal credit claimants previously in receipt of employment and support allowance that have (a) been identified as being eligible to receive severe disability premium transitional payments and (b) received those transitional payments in the latest period for which figures are available; and what her timescale is for payment of all severe disability premium payments to eligible claimants.

Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

A gateway was introduced from 16 January 2019 to prevent those claimants entitled to the Severe Disability Premium (SDP) as part of their legacy benefit from claiming Universal Credit. Additionally, a commitment was made for monthly transitional payments to be made to eligible former SDP claimants who have already moved to Universal Credit due to a change in circumstances and to provide a lump sum arrears payment, where appropriate.

As of 17 January 2020, 15,397 claims have been paid an SDP transitional payment. To date, over £51.5m has been disbursed to support former SDP claimants, including the recurring payments that have now commenced.

Positive progress has been made and caseload growth has now slowed, however, in the event a new case is discovered payments will be in place quickly. It is not possible to estimate when we will have paid everyone who is entitled as some people become entitled to these payments retrospectively, and therefore the caseload is not a fixed number.

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