Disabled people are losing £300 a month under the universal credit system, fuelling concern that the welfare reform is causing more hardship for many of the claimants it was designed to help.
Citizens Advice said the new benefit system was “penalising” single disabled people due to flaws in its design, leaving them worse off compared to the previous structure.
It comes as a report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) accused ministers of turning a “deaf ear” to concerns about the controversial welfare reform, saying the government was “refusing to measure what it does not want to see”.
The research by Citizens Advice shows that working disabled people face a “significant drop” in financial support when they move onto universal credit.
This is because the “work allowance” – designed to improve incentives for disabled people to work – is only awarded to people assessed as being unable to work, which the charity said was leaving disabled people in employment more than £300 a month worse off.
Disabled people who can only do limited work are meanwhile seeing their support reduced after working just six hours a week, rather than 16 hours a week in the previous system – meaning somebody working 12 hours a week can be over £100 month worse off – according to the findings.
Citizens Advice, which was called in by the government to aid the roll-out of universal credit earlier this month, is now urging ministers to ensure working people receive targeted in-work financial support if they are disabled or have a health condition.
Gillian Guy, chief executive of the charity, said: “Working disabled people need to prove they are unfit to work to get support meant for them. This goes against the government’s aim to support a million disabled people into work. Read more
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