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Severe disability premium

Severe disability premium

People who claim Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment or Attendance Allowance can qualify for an extra allowance when some benefits are calculated, this is called a 'severe disability premium'.  The benefits that can include the 'severe disability premium' are Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Housing Benefit and Pension Credit.

If you are single the severe disability premium (SDP) is included in your award if:

  • you receive a qualifying disability benefit (Attendance Allowance, constant Attendance Allowance, the care component of Disability Living Allowance at the middle or highest rate or Personal Independence Payment daily living component at standard or enhanced rate); and
  • no-one gets paid Carer's Allowance (CA) for looking after you (if your carer is eligible for CA but does not receive anything then they do not count); and
  • you have no non-dependant adults living with you (unless they are also receiving a qualifying disability benefit or are registered blind)

If you are in a couple you can receive the severe disability premium if:

  • you both receive a qualifying disability benefit (or one of you receives a qualifying disability benefit and the other person is registered blind); and
  • you have no non-dependant adults living with you (unless they are also receiving a qualifying disability benefit or are registered blind)

Where both members of a couple receive a qualifying disability benefit you will receive a couple's rate of SDP if no-one receives payments of Carer's Allowance (CA) for looking after either of you (if your carer is eligible for CA but does not receive a payment then they do not count). If someone gets Carer's Allowance for one member of the couple - but no one gets Carer's Allowance for their partner - then SDP is paid at a single rate.

Where only one member of a couple receives a qualifying disability benefit and their partner is registered blind, then SDP will be paid at the single rate only. However, if someone gets a payment of Carer's Allowance for the person on the qualifying disability benefit, no SDP will be paid.

SDP is not affected where a carer is entitled to Carer's Allowance but not paid it because they receive another benefit instead. For more information on the rules used see information on Carer's Allowance.

If you are in a situation where you can choose between benefits we strongly advise you to seek further advice from a recognised adviser to work out which benefit you would be better off claiming.

For more information on the rules used in the calculator to work out eligibility to extra allowances see disability premiums in benefits.

Severe Disability Premium (SDP) and Universal Credit

There is no equivalent to the Severe Disability Premium in Universal Credit. It has been acknowledged that those in receipt of an SDP who moved over to UC due to a change in their circumstances before a block was put in place on 16 January 2019 lost out considerably in terms of lower benefit income. For this reason the block on new claims to UC from this group is now in place until 27 January 2021.

SDP recipients who haven't yet moved to Universal Credit

If you are receiving the SDP and have a change in circumstances that would have previously prompted a new claim to Universal Credit, you will remain on legacy benefits (including Housing Benefit). 

If you reach pension age and can't claim Pension Credit due to having a working age partner and can't claim UC due to receiving the SDP in your current benefit/s you will remain on working age legacy benefits. 

To try to identify the people this affects and stop them claiming UC, the online UC claim form will have a specific question regarding SDP to inform claimants of this.

If you have any queries regarding SDP and UC you can call a specialist DWP team on 0800 181 4049. From 16 January 2019, if you were getting a SDP and mistakenly make a new claim for UC the specialist team should help you return to your old benefit/s.

Previous SDP recipients already on Universal Credit

If you were receiving the SDP in a legacy benefit (unless you were only claiming Housing Benefit) and you were already moved over to Universal Credit before 16 January 2019, meaning your SDP stopped, you will remain on UC and you should receive an additional amount to compensate you for the financial loss experienced as a result.

DWP started to contact eligible claimants at the end of July 2019 to make these payments. If eligible, you will receive a lump-sum payment to cover the period since you moved to Universal Credit and then an ongoing monthly payment.

At a point that has not yet been decided, these ongoing monthly payments will be converted into transitional protection, becoming part of the overall Universal Credit award, and treated in the same way as other transitional protection payments described on the transitional protection help page.

This is a complicated area so please do seek specialist advice if you are in this situation.

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