Those of us on ESA are missing out

People on Universal Credit have received an extra £20 a week to help with the extra costs of lock down. Disabled people receiving ESA have been missing out on the emergency £20 week out of work benefit top up to help them through the Coronavirus crisis as the Government says it will take too long to make changes.

The Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC), a network of over 100 organisations has been told the reason people on all legacy benefits have not received the same £20 uplift as those claiming Universal Credit is because it is “too complicated” for the Government computer system.

This is despite a April 2020 DBC survey finding that 95% of disabled people had seen an increase in their costs as a result of the pandemic – from needing more money to safely access food to having to pay for higher heating and water bills while shielding at home. 

The DBC has written to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak MP, urging him to end the discrimination against disabled people, and for pay to be backdated to when the top up to Universal Credit was introduced.


  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    I have written to my MP about this.

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    Reply from MP's office:

    "Dear Mike, 

    Thank you for your email. We raised this with DWP Ministers recently but have not yet received a response. We can let you know once we do. 



     Senior Caseworker

    Office of Derek Thomas MP

    For West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (St Ives)"

    If I get an answer I will post it here.

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    I had a letter from the House of Commons this morning, there was me thinking it might be my MBE at last but it was merely a formal response from the DWP to my MP regarding the above. In a nutshell - tough we ain't getting anything - if anyone thinks that they need additional financial support they have to use the on-line benefits calculator. They are not considering us disabled with the excuse that the Universal Credit IT system is more flexible than the IT for the other benefits. So there we are, once again under the pandemic ignore the disabled, perhaps they are hoping we all kick the bucket and save the benefits system some money!

  • Sharon_K
    Sharon_K Member Posts: 460

    Hi Mike

    thank you for sharing this information and I have passed on your posts to our campaign team. As you will know Versus Arthritis is part of the Disability Benefits Consortium and we have been supporting the campaign to not leave disable people behind. It's always great to keep raising this awareness.

    Best Wishes


  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    Thanks, I have signed the petition too.

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,209

    Outrageous Mike! So unfair 😡

    Thanks Sharon I hope The Disability Benefits Consortium will be able to change things for the better. I have also signed the petition.

  • Janejr
    Janejr Member Posts: 4

    Hi my first time on line and I don't know how to start a discussion. I have a problem I'm on ESA and four weeks ago my daughter became my carer as I get servere disability premium. I've also moved house three weeks ago and didn't realise I had to make a claim for universal credit as you lose your SDP when someone becomes your official carer. Now if I go on UC I stand to lose a lot of money. My question is can my daughter stop being my carer for me to get my SDP back therefore not having to go on UN and keeping my original money. Is this allowed can anyone help me please.

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    I think that you should contact your local CAB as soon as possible, so far as I know (not from personal experience) people are being moved onto UC as their circumstances change, i.e. moving house etc. If you are under 65 you should be claiming PIP as well. Hopefully you will get some good advice as a matter of urgency.