The Salford Unemployed and Community Resource Centre (SUCRC) has recently won a case that enabled severely disabled man, David Boyce, to obtain over £6,000 in back-dated benefits.
The Centre now believes that David's case is just the tip of an iceberg of unclaimed benefits and has launched a campaign to allow people with disabilities to claim the Severe Disability Premium (SDP) to which they are entitled.
The basic disability premium is £32.55 per week for a single person and £46.40 for a couple. But the SDP rate is £62.45 per week if single, or £124.90 per couple.
"If you are in receipt of DLA middle or higher rate care component, or PIP standard, or enhanced rate daily living component, and live without any other non-dependent adults in your household, and have nobody claiming carer's allowance for looking after you, then you may well be underpaid" states the Centre, which has helped disabled people get payouts of up to £15,000 for years of under-paid means-tested benefits.
A Freedom of Information Act request revealed that the DWP does not check for eligibility for this entitlement, which applies to Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseekers Allowance and Income Support, but is cut from the Universal Credit scheme. So if claimants don't claim this before the expansion of Universal Credit they will lose it forever.
"This does appear that the DWP are not making people with disabilities aware of their right to Severe Disability Premium" says Alec McFadden of the Salford UCRC "This is all unclaimed state benefits that are in the budget and our new take up campaign will open the door to a flow of money into Salford for disabled people who will qualify."
He is urging people to either get in touch with the DWP or the Centre itself, if people are having problems with claiming the benefit, on 0161 789 2999