photo credit: dominikgolenia via photopin cc

The SNP has renewed calls for thousands of people who lost out on vital disability payments to be immediately reimbursed.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) were forced to U-turn and confirm they will repay the 7,000 claimants who have lost out on months-worth of severe disability premium payments as a result of being moved to Universal Credit.

This promise was made nine months ago and, to date, not one person has been reimbursed.

Campaigners protest against government welfare changes. Photo: Paula Peters

Responding to Ronnie Cowan MP’s written question, the DWP said that these repayments could take up to six months to administer once MPs have voted on managed migration regulations, which could take place as late as June 28th.

This could mean people might not receive the monies they are entitled to until December 2019 – almost a year and a half after they were promised repayments by the Tory government.

The SNP has raised concerns that if these repayments remain conditional on MPs approving managed migration regulations, repayments could be delayed further than December 2019.

Following meetings and correspondence with UK Ministers, SNP MP Ronnie Cowan is urging the UK government to make the repayments immediately.

Commenting, Ronnie Cowan MP said: “While the Tory government continue to delay these repayments, each day thousands of the most vulnerable people in society are missing out on the money they need to live and the money they are entitled to.

“The UK government must stop kicking this issue into the long grass and imminently reimburse the thousands of people who have missed out on vital disability payments.

“This is the third back payment scandal the DWP has overseen in two years – it seems the Secretary of State has not learned any lessons and fails to deliver on the promises she has made.

“The Tories committed to reimburse the 7,000 people who had missed out on vital payments in July 2018, who have now been told they may now have to wait up to six months until MPs vote in the summer of 2019.

“It is outrageous that thousands of disability claimants have to wait this long to receive what they are owed.

“The DWP must follow up on its promise and make the repayments immediately – failing that, there should be a separate debate and vote on the issue next week to avoid any more delays.”