Govt already targeting sick and disabled as welfare reforms passed

clock

The government's controversial welfare reforms have received Royal Ascent and so been adopted into law.

It means the coalition can now apply measures aimed at reducing the state benefits budget which have angered many disability rights campaigners for being too tough.

And COVER understands that just days after MPs voted the legislation through, some disabled people who have been claiming contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) for more than a year have already been contacted by the DWP to notify them that their entitlements will be stopped on 30 April.

Instead they face claiming Job Seekers Allowance and being forced to enter the government's work programme should they be unsuccessful in finding a job quickly enough.

And those with other members of the household working more than 24 hours a week may not be able to claim anything.

Other measures that raised concerns during Parliamentary debates included cancer patients' entitlement to ESA being means-tested people judged too sick or disabled to be employed being forced to do unlimited unpaid work or risk losing their benefits.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the replacement to Disability Living Allowance (DLA), and a £500 per week cap on household benefits have also been brought in with the legislation.

The Bill faced several defeats by Peers in the House of Lords who were concerned by the severity of the penalties, but ministers used Parliamentary legislation to force the changes through.

It also lays the groundwork for the introduction of the Universal Credit in October 2013, which is likely to prove one of the biggest shake-ups to the way benefits are calculated and paid since the formation of the welfare state.

Iain Duncan Smith MP, the Work and Pensions Secretary said: "I'm delighted this Bill, that will fundamentally change people's lives, has received Royal Assent - this is an historic moment for the coalition government and for my department.

"This Bill reforms virtually every part of our welfare system and I look forward to implementing the changes our country badly needs.

"The Universal Credit will mean that work will pay for the first time, helping to lift people out of worklessness and the endless cycle of benefits. Whilst those people who need our help and support will know they will get it without question," he added.

More on Individual Protection

COVER Wellbeing 360 Summit now open for registration

COVER Wellbeing 360 Summit now open for registration

Virtual conference on 24 March

COVER
clock 13 January 2022 • 2 min read
The opportunities in protection advice

The opportunities in protection advice

"The value add is demonstrated by robust, transparent advice based on a deeper appraisal of the clients’ needs"

Ben Heffer
clock 13 January 2022 • 5 min read
Women's financial wellbeing further threatened by Omicron variant

Women's financial wellbeing further threatened by Omicron variant

“Devastating impact on gender equality”

John Brazier
clock 11 January 2022 • 2 min read

Highlights

The Rising Stars of Protection: Lauren Hygate

The Rising Stars of Protection: Lauren Hygate

“It all comes back to those real life stories that get shared”

John Brazier
clock 06 January 2022 • 7 min read
Blue Monday and beyond: The whole wellbeing proposition

Blue Monday and beyond: The whole wellbeing proposition

Latest COVER webinar

COVER
clock 04 January 2022 • 1 min read
The Top 20 Stories on COVER in 2021

The Top 20 Stories on COVER in 2021

The most-read news stories of last year

John Brazier
clock 04 January 2022 • 6 min read