UNIVERSAL CREDIT payments temporarily increased by £20per week earlier this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic, with Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak confirming the uplift would be in effect for this financial year.
Following the Universal Credit uplift, more than 119,000 people have signed for a petition which calls for legacy benefits recipients to receive the same increase. More than 119,000 people have since signed a petition calling for two million disabled people, lone parents and families receiving legacy benefits to also benefit from a £20 weekly uplift.
Among those not receiving the uplift are those on legacy benefits including Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Jobseeker's Allowance and Income Support.
Ella Abraham, Z2K’s Policy and Campaigns Officer and Campaigns Co-Chair of the DBC, said: "For disabled people and others on legacy benefits, being denied the £20 per week life line that those on Universal Credit have received has meant real hardship.
"It is unacceptable for the Government to maintain that only those who have had to claim Universal Credit as a result of the pandemic are in financial need.
“The Government must take this opportunity in the upcoming Spending Review to act now, end this discriminatory two tier welfare state and ensure that the 2 million people on legacy benefits receive this vital extra support and are no longer left behind."
Anastasia Berry, Policy Manager at the MS Society and Policy Co-Chair of the DBC, said: “It is a disgrace that the Government has ignored the needs of disabled people, including those with MS, for over eight months.
"Time and time again they have been asked to provide extra financial support for a group of people who, through no fault of their own, happen to be on a different benefit to others.
“MS is relentless, painful and disabling, and around a third living with the condition rely on ESA because they are simply unable to work.
"The poor excuse of an outdated and archaic computer system is no longer valid as we approach the announcement of the annual benefit uprating.
"The Government must act now, and stop discriminating against disabled people.”