Allow Disabled People to Keep All Their Benefits if They Move in With a Partner

Under the current rules, disabled people on ESA or UC risk losing some or all of their benefits if they find love and move in with a partner. This means we have to choose between happiness and financial security. Personally, these unfair rules have discouraged me from even trying to find love.

This petition closed on 23 Sep 2021 with 26,328 signatures


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Recent Documents related to Allow Disabled People to Keep All Their Benefits if They Move in With a Partner

1. Allow Disabled People to Keep All Their Benefits if They Move in With a Partner
14/02/2021 - Petitions

Found: Under the current rules, disabled people on ESA or UC risk losing some or all of their benefits if they

2. The economics of Universal Credit
01/04/2020 - Inquiry: The economics of Universal Credit - Economic Affairs Committee
- View source

Found: work with people to prevent homelessness and support people to access the Social Security benefits they are

3. The economics of Universal Credit
26/02/2020 - Inquiry: The economics of Universal Credit - Economic Affairs Committee
- View source

Found: unreliable income flows. (7-8) The purposes of UC are defeated by its complexity, and its failure to

4. SWARM (Sex Worker Advocacy and Resistance Movement) - written evidence
22/05/2019 - Inquiry: Universal Credit and Survival Sex - Work and Pensions Committee
- View source

Found: trading sex in the UK and the great majority are current sex workers. In preparation for this report we

5. DWP's response to the coronavirus outbreak
23/04/2020 - Inquiry: DWP's response to the coronavirus outbreak - Work and Pensions Committee
- View source

Found: from Geoff Fimister [SWP0043] The Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) is a network of over 100 organisations

Latest Documents
Recent Speeches related to Allow Disabled People to Keep All Their Benefits if They Move in With a Partner

1. Universal Credit (Transitional Provisions) (Claimants previously entitled to a severe disability premium) Amendment Regulations 2021
11/02/2021 - Lords Chamber

1: receipt of the Severe Disability Premium in legacy benefits moving on to Universal Credit without ensuring - Speech Link
2: the extra costs of care incurred by severely disabled people living alone without a carer. It is worth about - Speech Link

2. Coronavirus Outbreak: DWP Response
26/11/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: I beg to move,That this House notes the First Report of the Work and Pensions Committee, “DWP’s - Speech Link
2: relevant legacy benefits in line with increases to universal credit, to take steps to return people who have - Speech Link

3. Department for Work and Pensions
02/07/2019 - Commons Chamber

1: exceeding £48,180,879,000 be authorised for use for current purposes as set out in HC 2154 of Session 2017-19 - Speech Link
2: that.Today is about public spending. Most people in the House will know that the Department for - Speech Link
3: smooth incomes. The idea is that we spend to allow people to take money from the system when their income - Speech Link

4. Disability Support
19/12/2018 - Commons Chamber

1: Oldham East and Saddleworth (Debbie Abrahams) to move the motion, it might be helpful for the House if - Speech Link
2: impact of changes to the social security system on sick and disabled people and their families and carers - Speech Link
3: impact of changes to the social security system on sick and disabled people and their families and carers - Speech Link

5. Universal Credit
17/10/2018 - Commons Chamber

1: I beg to move,That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, That she will be graciously - Speech Link
2: unwell. I have a constituent who is caring for her disabled daughter and who has her own mental health problems - Speech Link
3: families with children could lose around £50 a week. People are worried, but there is no clarity from the Government - Speech Link

Latest Speeches
Recent Questions related to Allow Disabled People to Keep All Their Benefits if They Move in With a Partner
1. Means-tested Benefits
asked by: Ian Mearns
18/03/2021
... what calculation is used to determine the appropriate capital threshold limits for welfare benefits which are means tested and which are not payable in the event that a claimant holds savings or capital above the set threshold.

2. Means-tested Benefits
asked by: Hywel Williams
23/06/2020
... (e) housing benefit and (f) income support.

3. Means-tested Benefits
asked by: Hywel Williams
04/06/2020
... (e) housing benefit and (f) income support have had their payments reduced due to reaching the savings threshold since March 2020.

4. Means-tested Benefits: Coronavirus
asked by: Kirsten Oswald
23/03/2021
... (ii) an overpayment reclaim and (iii) becoming ineligible for a means-tested payment as a result of changes to their savings due to economic disruption during the covid-19 outbreak.

5. Means-tested Benefits: Coronavirus
asked by: Kirsten Oswald
23/03/2021
... (b) Pension Credit and (c) other means tested payments administered by her Department whose savings or capital may breach a relevant savings or capital limit due to economic disruption during the covid-19 outbreak.

Latest Questions

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Disabled people on income-related benefits risk being left totally dependent on their partner if they move in together. This is because, when joint income is taken into account, their partner's earnings or savings often exceed the limits for eligibility for income-related benefits.

This rule applies even if the disabled person in the relationship cannot and won't ever me able to work, meaning that they have no choice other than to hope the income their partner gets is enough for them both to live on.


Petition Signatures over time

Government Response

Thursday 3rd June 2021

Disabled people are entitled to Income-related Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit if they meet conditions of entitlement depending on their income and capital of their household.


Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA (IR)) and Universal Credit are means-tested welfare support. It is longstanding policy that income-related benefits treat all couples as a single household unit when assessing benefit entitlement. Where claimants have income available to meet their household's everyday living costs, such as through a partner's earnings or savings, their entitlement to benefit is adjusted accordingly.

Eligibility for (ESA (IR)) and Universal Credit is dependent on satisfying the basic conditions of entitlement and those relating to their financial position. Both benefits take into account the income and capital of the claimant and their partner, or a new partner if the claimant does not need to make a new claim. Universal Credit is replacing ESA (IR) but the principle of assessing members of a couple in this way will remain.

People with substantial savings or other capital should draw on these resources before looking to the taxpayer for support, particularly as many taxpayers themselves have savings below these limits. Universal Credit operates in a similar way to the benefits it is replacing, this is a longstanding principle within income-related benefits, such as Income Support and income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Universal Credit is not paid to claimants who have sufficient income available from other sources to support themselves. The general principle is that income, other than earnings, which is provided to meet everyday living costs, is fully taken into account in the calculation of Universal Credit. The Government understands disabled people may face additional cost, which is why income provided to meet additional costs through benefits such as Personal Independence Payments and Disability Living Allowance are not taken into account when determining entitlement to benefits.

In the coming months, the Department is bringing forward a Green Paper on health and disability support, focusing on the welfare system. The Green Paper will explore how the welfare system can better meet the needs of disabled people and people with health conditions now and in the future, to build a system that enables people to live independently and move into work where possible.

The Green Paper will be strongly influenced by the views of disabled people and representatives from disability organisations. We have hosted a series of workshops across the country where local disability organisations and disabled people have shared their experiences of DWP services and priorities for future changes. We have continued this engagement since Covid-19 with a series of virtual events with charities and disabled people. This is in addition to engagement through our existing forums with national organisations. The Green Paper will reflect themes coming out of those conversations and ask for views on how best to address them. We will continue this engagement with further events with disabled people and their representatives during the formal consultation period and beyond.

Department for Work and Pensions


Constituency Data

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