The variety of disabled individuals who have had deductions taken from their advantages due to monetary hardship has rocketed within the final yr, new authorities figures have proven.
The figures present a 29 per cent rise within the variety of properties the place there was each an grownup receiving the out-of-work incapacity aspect of common credit score and a deduction from the month-to-month common credit score cost.
Such deductions* might be taken by the Division for Work and Pensions (DWP) to pay again a part of an advance cost – loans paid by DWP to these in monetary hardship – or cash owed for electrical energy payments, council tax, lease or different money owed.
The figures, obtained by Labor MP Rachael Maskell, present a rise between September 2021 and August 2022 from 497,000 to just about 641,000 within the variety of households with a common credit score claimant who had been assessed as having restricted capability for work and a deduction by DWP that month.
The figures additionally present an identical improve within the variety of common credit score households that obtain a further cost for a disabled youngster and had cash deducted from their month-to-month common credit score allowance.
The variety of common credit score households with a disabled youngster aspect and a deduction rose from 107,700 in September 2021 to 135,000 in August 2022, a rise of 25 per cent.
The general improve within the variety of households receiving common credit score elevated by lower than three per cent (2.8 per cent) over the identical interval.
Including the 2 teams collectively – households with a claimant within the restricted capability for work group and people receiving a disabled youngster aspect – the variety of these with a deduction rose from 604,400 in September 2021 to 775,500 in August 2022, a rise of 28 per cent .
Maskell didn’t reply to requests to touch upon the figures this week.
Incapacity Information Service has additionally reported this week (see separate story) how disabled individuals in Scotland have spoken of slicing again on heating and meals, avoiding charging their feeding pumps, and worrying about surviving the colder months, even earlier than the onset of winter.
Analysis by Higher Manchester Disabled Individuals’s Panel reported in October how disabled individuals have been being “forgotten and successfully deserted”, pressured to depend on foodbanks, and having to chop again on how a lot they eat, due to the cost-of-living disaster.
And the Incapacity Poverty Marketing campaign Group and the Incapacity Advantages Consortium warned in a letter to the prime minister in September that some disabled individuals have been rationing their use of important medical gear corresponding to oxygen concentrators, whereas others have been turning off their heating, even when they wanted it as a result of they have been unable to manage their physique temperature.
A DWP spokesperson declined to supply an evidence for the massive improve in households with disabled members having deductions taken from their common credit score each month, or to say if the figures have been a priority for the minister for disabled individuals, Tom Pursglove, or to say in the event that they have been additional proof that the federal government and DWP wanted to do extra to assist disabled individuals by means of the cost-of-living disaster.
However the spokesperson stated in a press release: “Deductions assist defend claimants from enforcement actions corresponding to eviction, guarantee precedence money owed corresponding to youngster upkeep are nonetheless addressed and assist to recuperate taxpayers’ cash, corresponding to when overpayments are made.
“We have now to strike the best stability between making certain these protections are in place and permitting claimants to retain as a lot of their award as attainable for day-to-day wants.”
*They don’t embody funds taken off for profit penalties, that are described as “reductions” of profit reasonably than “deductions”
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