Disabled may be worse off in new system

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Up to half a million disabled people and their families could be worse off under the new system of Universal Credit once it is fully implemented, a report has said. It suggested some people might even be forced out of their homes as a result of the changes.

An inquiry headed by former wheelchair athlete Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson said several “key” groups would lose out under the Universal Credit, which will start to replace much of the benefits and tax credits system from next year.

The study used research showing that once the changes are fully in place, 100,000 disabled children stand to lose up to £28 a week, 230,000 severely disabled people who do not have another adult to help them could receive between £28 and £58 a week less, and up to 116,000 disabled people who work could be at risk of losing around £40 a week.

At the same time organisations representing the elderly have warned that people relying on the state pension for the bulk or all of their income could struggle to pay for food and heating if the basic state pension rises as expected by just 2.5 per cent, to £110 a week.