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Date confirmed for start of Universal Credit 'SDP Gateway' rules

Many of you will be aware of the huge drop in income some disabled claimants can experience if they make a new claim for UC.

Following a successful challenge in the High Court last year, and the subsequent proposed amending Regulations to prevent this loss, we finally have the confirmation that we have been waiting for.......the new Amending Regulations cite 16th January 2019 as the coming into force date.

This means that from 16th January 2019 anyone who has the Severe Disability Premium included in their Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance, Income-Based Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support or Housing Benefit assessment (or who has had it included in the previous month) will not have to make a new claim for Universal Credit.

Instead, a new 'gateway condition' will prevent them from being able to make a new claim for UC and they will be able to remain on/make new claims for the legacy benefits ie IR-ESA, IB-JSA, IS, HB and Tax Credits – and will therefore retain their Severe Disability Premium.

Eventually they will need to move onto UC ie they will be ‘manage migrated’ onto it, but they will then receive ‘transitional protection’, so that they do not see an immediate loss of income at the point of moving onto UC.

MPORTANT: Watch out for claimants who may not be getting the Severe Disability Premium at the point of experiencing a change in their circumstances that would normally trigger a new claim for UC - but that change also triggers the possibility of a SDP in their existing legacy benefits. These claimants will have a choice - Please see the Willow, Sophie and Mamood examples on the website - click here.