Universal Credit changes impact people with Parkinson's
On 5 November, the government published updated Universal Credit Regulations, that we fear will mean people with Parkinson's could lose out.
What is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit is a new means-tested benefit for people of working age. It is currently being phased in. It will replace 6 existing benefits with a single payment for those who are out of work or on a low income. These changes to Universal Credit will impact people who live in the UK.
New regulations make accessing benefits harder for people with Parkinson's
While the regulations did include some positive changes, they did not go far enough. One of our biggest concerns is asking people already receiving benefits, with a complex condition, to make a new claim for Universal Credit. Currently, 25% of new claims are not successfully completed, for this reason we believe it will lead to thousands of people with Parkinson's losing some of their benefits.
Parkinson's UK Senior Policy and Campaigns Adviser Michael Griffin said: "It's completely unacceptable that people already in difficult situations are at risk of having money taken away from them. We, and others, have been raising these concerns for months and the Government has completely ignored the difficulties these updated regulations will cause.
"We cannot support changes that we know will cause serious hardship.
"The government is holding people with disabilities hostage by threatening that their income will no longer be protected while they move over to Universal Credit if the regulations are voted down. This is a despicable tactic, as there is no reason why people should not be protected and get backdated pay once the new regulations come in."
MP's will be given a chance to vote on these regulations soon. Before this, we will brief them on our concerns and ask them to put pressure on the government to improve Universal Credit, so it meets the needs of people with Parkinson's.
Share your experience of Universal Credit
We're working with the Disability Benefits Consortium to gather experiences of people who have applied for Universal Credit.
Please complete this survey so we can better understand how this new benefit is affecting people with Parkinson's.
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Questions about benefits
Our helpline and local advisers are here to answer any questions you have about Parkinson's, including accessing benefits and support.