Legislation will see backdated payments of Universal Credit disability premium

We have featured several advice columns concerning people who have transferred onto Universal Credit and as a result lost money because this benefit does not currently have an equivalent to legacy benefits Severe Disability Premium.

By Lance Fuggle
Friday, 26 July, 2019, 16:00
Legislation could see backdated Universal Credit payments.

This week the government has passed emergency legislation to introduce this to Universal Credit for new and existing claimants. As of writing there is no current date for the implementation of the legislation but it will appear anyone affected will be entitled to backdated payments of the premium but again how far back is to be confirmed.

Only live claims for Universal Credit are likely to be identified and there are likely to be people who currently did not claim Universal Credit or were entitled to it due to other factors, for example too much income from other benefits but who could now be entitled to claim Universal Credit because the addition of the Severe Disability Premium increases overall Universal Credit total and will therefore give them entitlement. We would advise all readers who might have made enquiries to claim Universal Credit but did not qualify to seek advice to see if they could now qualify and submit a claim to maximise their income when the legislation takes effect.

To reiterate you potentially qualify for the Premium if you receive a qualifying benefit, these are Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance care component at middle or high rate, Personal Independence Payment for care at standard or enhanced rate. There are some less common benefits that can also entitle you to the Premium such as certain Armed Forces Pensions, Constant Attendance allowance so check with a specialist advisor to be sure.

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Next you generally must live by yourself (dependent children are not counted as living with you) or if you are a couple you both must receive the qualifying benefits or the other person must be registered blind. Again they can be exceptions so always check with an advisor.

Finally no-one should be claiming Carer’s Allowance for looking after you. Again this rule can be excluded in certain situations so seek advice.

Other people who may also miss out on arrears of the Premium could be those who would have met the criteria in the past but may for example have stopped getting the qualifying benefit, commenced cohabitation or someone did start to claim Carer’s Allowance for providing assistance. People in this position may lose out in any future changes and again should seek advice.