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Thousands sign petition calling for Covid uplift backpay

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Thousands of people have signed a petition calling for the £20 a week Covid pay given to Universal Credit recipients to be backdated to those claiming legacy benefits.

More than 12,000 people have signed a petition calling for the government to backdate a £20 a week payment to people on legacy benefits who weren’t eligible.

When the coronavirus pandemic first hit in March 2020, the government increased the standard allowance element of Universal Credit payments by £20 each week.

This ‘uplift’ was due to end after a year, but it was extended to October 2021. In total, these claimants were given an additional £1,500 in support.

However, this support wasn’t extended to those on legacy benefits, such as Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Jobseekers’ Allowance (JSA) and Income Support (IS) claimants.

The petition, launched just a week ago, reads: “The government paid everyone on Universal Credit £20 per week from April 2020 to October 2021 but not to the disabled on legacy benefits.

“We all struggled the same and a lot of disabled people even more than others during the pandemic so I want it paid to them backdated.

“I feel that the disabled and people on legacy benefits, were discriminated against by the Government when they made their decision to only pay people on Universal Credit, when they were getting pretty much the same amount of benefits before the uplift, and people with disabilities have a difficult time to begin with but during the pandemic they struggled much more than the people on Universal Credit, and had just as many expenses if not more, than the average person.”

The petition will run until 15 Aug 2022, but as the Covid uplift backpay petition has already attracted over 10,000 signatures, it will trigger a government response.

Earlier this week legacy benefit claimants lost their fight for the £1,500 Covid backpay after the High Court rejected their ‘discrimination’ claim.

However, William Ford, partner at Osbornes Law, who represented the claimants in the case said they will study the judgment carefully to assess whether there are any grounds to appeal.