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Written Question
Social Security Benefits: Disability
Tuesday 7th December 2021

Asked by: Ruth Jones (Labour - Newport West)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions she has had with the Welsh Government on the adequacy of legacy benefits for people with severe disabilities in Newport West constituency.

Answered by Chloe Smith - Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)

There is a well-established working relationship between the Department for Work and Pensions and the Welsh Government, ensuring that we work together on devolved and reserved areas effectively.

There are a number of legacy benefits but people with severe disabilities in Wales are most likely to be in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). ESA caseload data for Wales, at both local authority and constituency level can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/dwp-benefit-statistics-dissemination-tools#stat-xplore.

ESA is paid at different rates depending on an individual’s circumstances. In income-related ESA, claimants with severe disabilities may also be eligibility for additional amounts, such as the Enhanced Disability Premium and or the Severe Disability Premium. To reflect the functional impacts of their health condition or disability on their capability to work, claimants found to have limited capability for work and work related activity receive an additional support group component.

Claimants may also be eligible for Personal Independence Payment to help meet the extra costs of living faced by disabled people.


Written Question
Autism and Hyperactivity: Females
Tuesday 30th November 2021

Asked by: Alex Sobel (Labour (Co-op) - Leeds North West)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans her Department has to help ensure that women with autism and/or ADHD are consulted in order that their lived experience informs review processes for (a) personal independence payment, (b) universal credit, (c) employment support allowance and (d) severe disability premium.

Answered by Chloe Smith - Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)

Throughout the consultation period of ‘Shaping Future Support: The Health and Disability Green Paper’ we held events with disabled people, people with health conditions, and their representatives. Prior to the formal launch of the consultation, Members from both sides of the House hosted organisations and individuals from their own constituencies. The Department is currently reviewing responses to the Green Paper, which consider the full range of health and disability benefits, and we remain committed to responding with a White Paper next year.

In addition to this, both Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Assessment Providers have Health Condition Insight Reports that cover Autism specifically. These are completed by representative groups providing insights from real life examples to describe common issues faced by the people they support. One Provider has developed a podcast on ADHD available to all their Health Providers and both Providers are keen to continue their engagement with stakeholders on autism and ADHD.

We will continue to engage stakeholders regularly, particularly on future disability benefit reform.


Written Question
Social Security Benefits: Disability
Tuesday 9th November 2021

Asked by: Dan Carden (Labour - Liverpool, Walton)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of legacy benefits for people with severe disabilities.

Answered by Chloe Smith - Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)

There are a number of legacy benefits but people with severe disabilities are most likely to be in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). ESA is paid at different rates depending on an individual’s circumstances. In income-related ESA, claimants with severe disabilities may also be eligibility for additional amounts, such as the Enhanced Disability Premium and or the Severe Disability Premium. To reflect the functional impacts of their health condition or disability on their capability to work, claimants found to have limited capability for work and work related activity receive an additional support group component.

Claimants may also be eligible for Personal Independence Payment to help meet the extra costs of living faced by disabled people.


Written Question
Social Security Benefits
Monday 26th April 2021

Asked by: Baroness Lister of Burtersett (Labour - Life peer)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many claimants are in receipt of (1) income-related Employment and Support Allowance, (2) income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, (3) Income Support, and (4) Housing Benefit; and how many claimants of each of those awards receive a Severe Disability Premium.

Answered by Baroness Stedman-Scott - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The statistics are shown in the following table:

Number of people in receipt of income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Income Support and Housing Benefit, and estimates of the number of those receiving Severe Disability Premium (SDP), February 2020, Great Britain

Recipients1

SDP recipients2

All income-related ESA

1,445,400

515,000

All income-based JSA

119,300

7,000

Income Support

319,600

16,000

Housing Benefit

3,218,600

..

Sources: Stat-Xplore, DWP Work and Pensions 5 per cent Sample, DWP 100 per cent Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study (WPLS) data, and 100 per cent Jobseekers Allowance Payment System Atomic Data Store

Notes:

  1. Benefit Caseloads have been rounded to the nearest hundred.
  2. SDP estimates have been rounded to the nearest thousand.
  3. “..” indicates that an SDP estimate for Housing Benefit is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.
  4. The SDP estimates supplied are derived from unpublished management information, which was collected for internal Departmental use only and has not been quality assured to National Statistics or Official Statistics publication standard. The data should therefore be treated with caution.


Written Question
Employment and Support Allowance: Severe Disability Premium
Thursday 15th April 2021

Asked by: Chris Stephens (Scottish National Party - Glasgow South West)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many recipients of employment and support allowance are eligible for, but not receiving, severe disability premium.

Answered by Justin Tomlinson

The Department does not hold the information necessary to provide the requested figure.


Written Question
Severe Disability Premium: Take-up
Thursday 15th April 2021

Asked by: Chris Stephens (Scottish National Party - Glasgow South West)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to maximise take-up of Severe Disability Premium among eligible recipients of (a) Pension Credit and (b) employment and support allowance.

Answered by Justin Tomlinson

The severe disability premium in Employment and Support Allowance and the additional amounts for persons severely disabled in State Pension Credit are not separate benefits in themselves but are payable as part of the award to those who are eligible, i.e. those severely disabled people who live independently and who are most likely to need to purchase care. When a claim to either benefit is made, the claimant is asked questions, for example if they are in receipt of a qualifying disability benefit or if anybody is caring for them, which helps to determine if the premium or the additional amount is payable. Once entitled to the benefit, claimants are required to report any change of circumstance including ones which may lead to the awarding of the premium or the additional amount. The Department also makes use of the information that it holds to prompt enquiries of the claimant as to possible entitlement to the premium or the additional amount. There is information for claimants about the severe disability premium and the additional amount for persons severely disabled on the relevant pages of www.gov.uk.


Written Question
Social Security Benefits: Coronavirus
Wednesday 3rd March 2021

Asked by: Lisa Cameron (Scottish National Party - East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the financial effect of the covid-19 outbreak on people on legacy benefits; and if she will make a statement.

Answered by Mims Davies - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)

Legacy benefits were increased by 1.7% in April 2020 following the Government’s announcement to end the benefit freeze and 0.5% this coming year.

We increased the Local Housing Allowance rates for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants, so they now cover the lowest 30% of local rents. This increase, costing almost £1 billion, will mean that 1.5 million households see an increase, on average, of £600 this year. We also increased the additional earnings disregard in Housing Benefit to ensure increases in the maximum rate of the basic element of Working Tax Credit did not impact on a claimant’s Housing Benefit award.

We legislated to allow access to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) from day one of a claim for Covid-19 related cases and we have made it easier to access ESA by launching a portal for new style ESA online claims.

It has always been the case that claimants on legacy benefits can make a claim for UC if they believe that they will be better off. There are special arrangements for those in receipt of the Severe Disability Premium, who are now able to make a new claim to UC. Claimants should check their eligibility before applying to UC as legacy benefits will end when they submit their claim and they will not be able to return to them in the future.

From 22nd July 2020, a two-week run on of Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance (IR) and Jobseeker’s Allowance (IB) is available for all claimants whose claim to UC ends entitlement to these benefits to provide additional support for claimants moving to UC.


Written Question
Social Security Benefits
Thursday 28th January 2021

Asked by: Helen Hayes (Labour - Dulwich and West Norwood)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to support people on legacy benefits.

Answered by Mims Davies - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)

In April 2020, legacy benefits were increased by £600m (1.7%). This Government will ensure that benefits retain their value by guaranteeing that for a consecutive year, benefits will increase by further £100m (0.5%) from April, in line with CPI, as part of the Government’s annual up-rating exercise.

In addition, last year, to support those on low incomes through the outbreak, we introduced a package of temporary welfare measures.

For example; we increased the Local Housing Allowance rates for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants, so they now cover the lowest 30% of local rents. This increase, costing almost £1 billion, will mean 1.5 million households see an increase, on average, of £600 in 2020/21. We also increased the additional earnings disregard in Housing Benefit to ensure increases in the maximum rate of the basic element of Working Tax Credit did not impact on a claimant’s Housing Benefit award.

We also legislated to allow access to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) from day one of a claim for Covid-19 related cases and we have made it easier to access ESA by launching a portal for new style ESA online claims.

Claimants on legacy benefits can make a claim for Universal Credit if they believe that they will be better off. Those in receipt of the Severe Disability Premium will be able to make a new claim to Universal Credit from January 2021.


Written Question
Severe Disability Premium: Coronavirus
Wednesday 13th January 2021

Asked by: Stephen Morgan (Labour - Portsmouth South)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will temporarily increase the qualification period for the Severe Disability Premium Gateway to assist qualifying persons who have been made redundant as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered by Justin Tomlinson

People who are made redundant as a result of Covid-19, or in any other circumstances, are able to make a claim to Universal Credit.

The Severe Disability Premium (SDP) Gateway is currently in place to prevent existing claimants who have been, within the past month, entitled to an award of an existing benefit (Employment and Support Allowance (income related), Jobseekers Allowance (income based), Income Support or Housing Benefit) that includes a SDP, from moving to Universal Credit if they have a relevant change in their circumstances. In cases where the benefit award ended during that month, they must have continued to satisfy the eligibility conditions for a SDP within the relevant benefit.

When the SDP Gateway is removed from 27 January 2021, existing benefit claimants who are entitled to the SDP will need to claim Universal Credit if they have a relevant change of circumstances and they will be considered for a transitional SDP element to be included in their Universal Credit award.


Written Question
Severe Disability Premium
Monday 11th January 2021

Asked by: Apsana Begum (Labour - Poplar and Limehouse)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 9 December 2020 to Question 124879 on disability premium, whether any compensation is offered to claimants affected by accidental cessation of the severe disability premium on employment and support allowance awards; and how long on average claimants have had to wait before that premium was reinstated in the most recent period for which figures are available.

Answered by Justin Tomlinson

Where claimants have been affected by accidental cessation of the severe disability premium as part of their Employment and Support Allowance, we are taking swift action to rectify the mistake. The Department’s position on compensation is that each case must be considered on its own merits, taking into account the particular circumstances of that case.

Specific information on the waiting times for reinstatement of the premium is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.