This briefing provides an overview of the Welfare Reform Bill 2012, and particularly its impact upon people with learning disabilities. The major proposal for reform is the introduction of a new benefit, a Universal Credit, which will replace most of the benefits and tax credits that currently provide means-tested support. The Bill also makes provision for a new benefit, the Personal Independence Payment, which will replace the existing Disability Living Allowance.
Mencap welcomes the stated principles behind the Universal Credit: to simplify the benefits system and make work pay. However, there are concerns about the potential loss of income for disabled people through the merger in Universal Credit of Tax Credits and disability premiums.