Petition Backpay the £20 covid uplift to people on Legacy Benefits

The government paid everyone on universal credit £20 per week from April 20 to October 21 but not to the disabled on Legacy Benefits. We all struggled the same and a lot of disabled people even more than others during the pandemic so I want it paid to them backdated.

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I feel that the disabled and people on Legacy Benefits, were discriminated against by the Government when they made their decision to only pay people on Universal Credit, when they were getting pretty much the same amount of benefits before the uplift, and people with disabilities have a difficult time to begin with but during the pandemic they struggled much more than the people on Universal Credit, and had just as many expenses if not more, than the average person.

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Government responded

This response was given on 8 March 2022

The Government introduced a temporary £20 uplift to Universal Credit, to ensure that vital support was given to those facing the most financial disruption due to the pandemic.

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Since the start of the pandemic, the Government’s priority has been to protect lives and people’s livelihoods. This includes continually supporting individuals and businesses.

The Government has always been clear the £20 increase to Universal Credit was a temporary measure that ensured vital support was given to those facing the most financial disruption due to the pandemic. We have since made changes to Universal Credit to ensure work always pays.

The decision not to include the £20 uplift in legacy benefits was recently unsuccessfully challenged in the High Court on the basis of discrimination, with the Court concluding the Regulations were justified in all circumstances.

Universal Credit provided a vital safety net for six million people during the pandemic, and we announced the temporary uplift as part of a COVID support package, worth a total of £407 billion in 2020-21 and 2021-22.

For those who are able to work, there are almost 1.3 million vacancies in our labour market, opportunities are out there. We have recruited an additional 13,500 frontline Work Coaches to help support people of all ages to find a job, retrain or gain vital practical experience.

This Government is committed to improving the lives of disabled people and on delivering the most ambitious disability reform agenda in a generation. In 2017, we set a goal to see one million more disabled people in work by 2027. In the first four years of the goal, between Quarter 1 2017 and Quarter 1 2021, the number of disabled people in employment increased by 850,000.

A range of DWP initiatives are supporting disabled people and people with health conditions to live independent lives and start, stay and succeed in employment. These include the Intensive Personalised Employment Support programme, Access to Work, Disability Confident and support in partnership with the health system, including Employment Advisers in NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapy services.

The government has announced it will provide significant financial support – up to £350 – to the majority of households, protecting them from half of the forecast £700 rise in energy bills. This support – worth £9.1bn in 2022-23 – is composed of:

- A £200 rebate for households delivered via their energy bill this autumn

- A £150 non-repayable cash rebate to 80% of households to help with rising costs now, via a payment to all households in Council Tax Bands A-D.

- The Government will also provide £144m of discretionary funding for LAs to support households that would not be eligible.

These new measures are on top of the existing £12 billion support the government is providing for the cost of living this financial year and next to help families with the cost of living. We’re increasing the national Living Wage to £9.50, cutting the Universal Credit taper to make sure work pays, freezing fuel duties to keep costs down, and providing targeted support to help households with their energy bills.

The government is committed to a sustainable, long-term approach to tackling poverty and supporting people on lower incomes. We will spend around £240bn through the welfare system in 2021/22 including around £59 billion is spent on supporting disabled people and people with health conditions in Great Britain.

Department for Work and Pensions

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