Inclusion London’s evidence to the Public Accounts Select Committee’s Universal Credit inquiry 2018
Our evidence and recommendations to the Public Accounts Select Committee Universal Credit inquiry.
We welcomed the opportunity to submit evidence to the Public Accounts Select Committee Universal Credit inquiry.
Download our full evidence here: UC inquiry evidence Inclusion London June 2018
- We are deeply concerned by the lack of research and data modelling around the access needs of prospective UC claimants that has informed the design and development of the system.
- Many people receiving Universal Credit (UC) have a long term health condition/are Deaf and Disabled, however the UC has not been designed to be appropriate to their needs and as a result Deaf and Disabled people are experience serious hardship.
- There is currently inadequate recording and collation of disaggregated data giving information about numbers and experiences of Deaf and Disabled receiving UC including sanctioning.
- There are multiple problems with UC which are having adverse impacts on Deaf and Disabled people including inaccessibility of the applications process, a waiting period that is too long, lack of reasonable adjustments for Deaf and Disabled people regarding their claimant commitment and inappropriately imposed sanctions, removal of the disability premiums.
Summary of recommendations
- The DWP undertakes research to assess the proportion of claimants who are likely to need special provision in order to access Universal Credit, for whom the default process is inaccessible, and to ensure sufficient provision is in place to meet their needs.
- The DWP collects data on the numbers of disabled people claiming UC and the numbers of disabled people receiving a UC sanction, disaggregated by impairment type in a similar way to Personal Independence payments. The definition of being disabled should be in line with the Equality Act 2010’s definition.
- Reasonable adjustments are made in accordance with the Equality Act 2010, when a Deaf or Disabled person cannot fulfil their ‘claimant commitment’ due to their impairment.
- Sanctions, which growing evidence shows to be counter-productive, are abolished.
- The waiting period is abolished.
- Severe and Enhanced Disability Premiums are retained under Universal Credit.