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Welfare Reform What it means for people with disabilities Mark Willis, CPAG in Scotland.

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Presentation on theme: "Welfare Reform What it means for people with disabilities Mark Willis, CPAG in Scotland."— Presentation transcript:

1 Welfare Reform What it means for people with disabilities Mark Willis, CPAG in Scotland

2 Susie Age 30, learning disability and epilepsy Incapacity Benefit Doing permitted work of 15 hours a week in supported employment, earning £91.20 a week Lives alone in private rented one-bedroom flat, (£90 a week rent) Gets Disability Living Allowance (DLA) at the low rate for mobility (£19.55 a week) Gets housing benefit and council tax benefit October 2011

3 Housing benefit Young individuals under 35 no longer eligible for HB for one-bedroom property in private sector Amount restricted to room in shared accommodation Susie must pay additional £25 a week towards her rent Apply for Discretionary Housing Payment? Move to cheaper accommodation or look for room in shared house – suitable? Apply for housing association property? January 2012

4 Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) Must complete 21 page questionnaire Called to attend medical with ATOS healthcare professional Found not to have limited capability for work – incapacity benefit stops Appeal? - needs advice, representation & medical evidence from GP Claim ESA pending appeal? – need new medical certificate from GP Effect on HB/CTB March 2012

5 Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) Loses ESA appeal Can claim income-related JSA to top up income Must sign on as available for and actively seeking full-time work Disability Employment Adviser / Work Programme support May be sanctioned for failing to apply for jobs / failing to take up employment Loses 100% of JSA after £20 disregard June 2012

6 Working tax credit (WTC) Increase hours to more than 16 hours a week, claim WTC as a disabled worker Starts to receive approx. £90 a week Must complete annual declaration of income, check award notice, report errors/changes Investigation into hours/disability – risk of overpayment Effect on HB/CTB October 2012

7 Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Must complete questionnaire and attend medical Not entitled to PIP – DLA stops Appeal? Loses working tax credit Loses disability premium in HB/CTB Only income is wages of £99.04 a week, of which must pay £43 towards rent and council tax Lost approx. £150 a week since October 2011 June 2013

8 Universal credit October 2013 Simpler? – claim one benefit instead of HB/ESA/JSA/WTC Claim online – needs support Must look for more work – up to 35 hours @ minimum wage Earnings disregard approx £30 a week earnings as a single person 65% withdrawal rate One single payment of £393 per month – needs budgeting support

9 Universal credit Condition deteriorates Reassessed as having limited capability for work Additional £26.75 payable Higher earnings disregard approx £40 a week as a disabled person Payment increases to approx. £547 per month Not as much as under permitted work rules in system November 2013

10 More Information E-bulletins Guide to universal credit Welfare Rights Bulletin CPAG in Scotland Advice Line for Advisers 0141 552 0552 Or email

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