Changes to universal credit will have a devastating effect on families with disabled children.
The government have slashed the lower rate of child disability addition by 54%. This means families will now stand to receive a payment of just £29.10 every week rather than the current £62.86.
These changes stand to affect 100,000 families across the country, who will be £1,750 worse off per year as a result.
The additional payment is made to families per disabled child, so families with multiple children affected by disabilities will be hit the hardest. The figure of £1,750 is per disabled child.
Financial support for the most vulnerable in our society is vital. The people who need the most help deserve to get it. Stripping them of valuable income to afford the extras costs of supporting a child with disabilities is deeply cruel.
There are a host of extra costs that are associated with disabilities and the caring for them. The reduction in the level of support under universal credit can only lead to increased hardship, debt, stress and ill-health.
The £33.76 that each family stand to lose on every week is often the difference between affording the essentials and going without. Evidence from by Contact’s Counting the Costs 2018 research confirms this.
The government must reinstate the lower child disability addition to £62.86. Families with disabled children need at least the same level of support under universal credit as they have now.
The government have claimed austerity is over, this latest cut proves this is nonsense.
Wera said: “It is so unfair that so many families will be punished by the government’s decision to severely cut the lower rate of child disability addition. A cut that high will pile on stress and hardship for the families doing their absolute best to care for their disabled loved ones. It deeply saddens me that the government have decided to do this, and I call on them to reconsider their decision.”