Universal credit – Inclusion London’s evidence
Inclusion London’s concerns and our recommendations to improve the Universal Credit system. We recommend the roll out of Universal Credit is halted until the difficulties caused by the current system are remedied.
Inclusion London gave evidence to the Work and Pensions Select Committee’s inquiry into Universal Credit.
Download the evidence here: Inclusion London’s Universal Credit evidence October 2017 (Final)
Below is a summary of Inclusion London’s concerns and our recommendations to improve the system:
- The waiting period of six weeks or longer together with the loss of Disability Premiums under Universal Credit is causing Deaf and Disabled people huge distress because of debt, rent arrears and evictions, all of which affect mental and physical health.
- The all in one single payment which includes rental costs can result in financial difficulties for Deaf and Disabled people. To avoid these difficulties support is needed to manage finances, which puts a further burden on organisations that provide support.
- Advance payments have to be paid back too quickly so people can be trapped in permanent debt.
- Transitional payments are not always provided.
- The online applications process represents a huge barrier to many Deaf and Disabled people so support is needed from overstretched Deaf and Disabled people’s organisations, also the whole process is overly bureaucratic, which again causes difficulties.
- Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisations are very concerned that they do have the capacity to provide the necessary support with Universal credit (UC), one advisor described the ongoing rollout of UC as ‘a nightmare’.
- The difficulties of the applications process can be compounded by staff from the DWP who can provide incorrect information.
- The claimant commitment can be too onerous for some Disabled people so reasonable adjustments are needed.
- Out of borough/area housing is causing difficulties when the people are made to apply for Universal Credit in the borough they are now living in.
- Sanctions have a disastrous impact on Deaf and Disabled people and are not effective.
- Universal Credit statistics on sanctions are not disaggregated so there is a lack of transparency regarding the numbers of Disabled people impacted by sanctions due to Universal Credit.
- The roll out of Universal Credit is halted until the difficulties caused by the current system are remedied.
- Universal Credit is paid twice monthly and the housing element of Universal Credit is paid directly to the social or private landlord.
- All Disability Premiums are retained under Universal Credit.
- The Committee calls on the DWP to disaggregate the statistics on sanctions so there is transparency regarding the numbers of Disabled people impacted by sanctions due to Universal Credit.
- Sanctions are abolished for Deaf and Disabled people
- There is no limit to the length of each online application session and a maximum of a month can be taken to complete an application process.
- Staff are provided with training so clear, correct information is given to all claimants.
- ID documents and other documentation such as sick notes can be sent by post to the JobCentre
- 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
More information about the inquiry is available at: