What is Severe Disablement Allowance?

What is Severe Disablement Allowance?

Severe Disablement Allowance (SDA) was a United Kingdom state benefit, which was intended for those who were not able to work because of their illness or disability and was below state pension age. It was replaced by Incapacity Benefit in April 2001, which in turn was replaced by Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). Severe Disablement Allowance is administered by JobCentre Plus, which is an executive agency of the Department for Work and Pensions.

However, Severe Disablement Allowance is now replaced with Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), however its control stays with JobCentre Plus only, which will re-assess your claim of Severe Disablement Allowance and decided if you are eligible for Employment Support Allowance.

An individual was considered eligible for Severe Disablement Allowance if:

  1. Disability was at least 80 percent or more
  2. He was not able to report at work due to his illness or disability for at least 28 weeks continuously, and
  3. His age was between 16 and 64 years of age.

However, now that this allowance has been discontinued and the claimants have been asked to claim Employment and Support Allowance, which also means to submit fresh application of benefit.

How Does JobCentre Re-Assess Your Claim of Employment and Support Allowance?

  1. Once you submit your application to claim Employment and Support Allowance, JobCentre will reassess your application by sending you a questionnaire, based on which it will determine your level of disability and how it is affecting your ability to complete your day to day activities.
  2. Once you have received the questionnaire from the JobCentre Plus, you have to fill in the form by the deadline allocated by the JobCentre. However, in case you are facing any kind of difficulty in completing the form, you can seek help from someone in completing the same.
  3. Once you have filled the questionnaire, you need to post the same to the JobCentre at its address mentioned on the form/questionnaire.
  4. Once JobCentre Plus receives your questionnaire and go through it, they will tell you if you need a face-to-face Work Capability Assessment or not. In case, they call you for a face to face work capability assessment, you must go and give them a detailed description of your disability and its extent. However, you need to be careful and tell them completely about your good and bad days and how your medical condition is, over a sizeable duration, instead of briefing them about it on the day of the assessment.
  5. In case, after your face to face assessment, JobCentre Plus decides that you are fit enough to continue your work, your Severe Disablement Allowance will stop immediately.
  6. In case, after your face to face assessment, JobCentre Plus finds you fit enough for the Severe Disablement Allowance, you will automatically be transferred to the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

Exceptions of Severe Disablement Allowance:

Severe Disablement Allowance is permitted to those who are not able to continue their work because of their disability or prolonged medical illness. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule, which are as below-

  1. If you do volunteer work.
  2. If you work for less than 16 hours a week on average and earn up to £120 a week.
  3. If you work and earn up to £120 a week and if your work is a part of a treatment programme which is supervised by a local council or a voluntary organization.
  4. If you work and earn up to £120 a week and are exempt from personal capability assessment.

However, in case, there is a change in your circumstances , for good or for bad, you must inform about it to the JobCentre Plus to get the correct amount of your claim. Because there is a limit on the total amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 are entitled for and it is up to the JobCentre Plus to see that one should not get any amount higher than the allocated cap.

What is Disability Premium?

What is Disability Premium?

Disability Premium is an additional allowance/benefit which you get on top of your basic personal allowance, which means that if you have a disability and you receive income support, you might be able to qualify for a premium on top of your basic personal allowance. Disability Premium can be termed as an extra payment on Income Support for those who are suffering from a long term disability and it is further increased till a certain value depending on your level of disability. There is a basic rate of Disability Allowance which can be increased further and it depends on the level of disability and these additions are known as Severe Disability Premium and Enhanced Disability Premium and irrespective of the type of premium you receive, you need to apply for the same because it gets added to your already existing payment automatically. However, these extra payments i.e. disability premiums are available for Income Support and Income-based jobseekers allowance, which will vary as per your eligibility.

However, to classify for the same, you or your partner must be qualified for one of the following allowances, such as:

  1. Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  2. Armed Forces Independence Payment(AFIP)
  3. Working Tax Credit with a Disability Element
  4. Attendance Allowance
  5. Constant Attendance Allowance
  6. Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  7. War Prisoners Mobility Supplement
  8. Several Disablement Allowance
  9. Incapacity Benefit

What is Severe Disability Premium?

What is Severe Disability Premium?

A Severe Disability Allowance (SDP) is an additional amount that an individual gets as a help with the cost of disability and it can be added in Income Support, Income related Employment and Support Allowance, Income based Jobseeker Allowance, Guarantee Pension Credit and Housing Benefit and it is awarded to those who receive qualifying benefits, such as:

  1. Attendance Allowance or Constant Allowance paid with the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit or War Pension.
  2. Disability Living Allowance care component at the middle or highest rate.
  3. Personal Independence Payment daily living component.
  4. Armed Forces Independence Payment.

Eligibility for Severe Disability Premium-

In case you are single:

  1. In case you are single, you should be getting a qualifying allowance like attendance allowance, constant attendance allowance, several disablement allowance, disability living allowance, armed forces independence payment etc to be eligible for severe disability premium.
  2. You should be self-sufficient i.e. no one should be getting any carers allowance for looking after you.
  3. You will be getting the middle or the highest care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA),
  4. You must be living alone, unless those who are staying with you are also receiving a qualifying disability benefit or are registered blind. If that is not the case, then you must be staying alone without any non-dependants of age 18 or above, for example: son, daughter or parent.

In case you are a couple:

  1. In case you are married or have a civil partner, both of you must be getting a qualifying benefit.
  2. Both of you must be self-sufficient i.e. no one should be getting carer’s allowance for looking after you, or
  3. Carer’s allowance is given to someone to look after either of you. If two people are getting this allowance to look after both of you, you will not be eligible for Severe Disability Premium.
  4. You are getting the middle or the highest rate of DLA Care Component or the daily or the daily living component of Permanent Independence Payment or Armed Forces Independence Payment.
  5. You must be living alone, unless those who are staying with you are also receiving a qualifying disability benefit or are registered blind. If that is not the case, then you must be staying alone without any non-dependants of age 18 or above, for example: son, daughter or parent.

What is Enhanced Disability Premium?

In order to receive an Enhanced Disability Premium, you must be under Pension Credit Age and you are eligible for the same in case you are getting one of the following:

  1. The enhanced rate of the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment.
  2. Armed Forces Independence Payment.
  3. The highest rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance.

In case, if you are in a situation where you can choose between benefits, it is always advisable to take help and advise from a recognized adviser and understand which benefit/s will work out best for you as per your current circumstances and how to claim the same.

How Much Disability Premium Will You Get?

Basic Disability Premium is:

Single Person Rate is £32.55 per week;

Couple Rate is £46.40 per week

The payments are made every two weeks with your normal Income Support or Income based Jobseekers allowance.

Severe Disability Premium is:

Single Person Rate is £62.45 per week; whereas

Couple Rate is £124.90 per week.

In case, both you and your partner are getting a qualifying benefit and either of you is looked after by someone who is also getting Carer Allowance, then you will be paid your Severe Disability Premium at the single rate £62.45.

Enhanced Disability Premium is:

Single Person Rate is £15.90 per week; whereas

Couple Rate is £22.85 for a couple, in case one of you qualifies.

How are you Paid and What is the Benefit Cap?

Benefit Cap, is the upper limit imposed by the United Kingdom Government on the amount of benefit one can get, depending on his or her current situation and under no circumstance, one should get any amount beyond this cap and how much you get for certain benefits may go down to ensure that the total amount per household remains well within the limit.

Benefit Cap was announced in the year 2010 and was started to introduce in April 2013 but it was September 2013 when it was fully implemented and by 2014, a total of 36,471 households were affected by the benefit cap and their payments of benefits were reduced and out of these 36,471 households, 17,102 households were in London itself. It was introduced at the amount of £26,000 per year i.e. £500 per week and for the ones who are single and have no children, benefit cap was set at £18,200 per year i.e. £350 per week.

However, Benefit Cap is not applicable on you, if you or your partner works and one of the following conditions apply, such as:

  1. You or your partner is eligible for Working Tax Credit.
  2. The net income of your household is more than £520 a month after paying all taxes and National Insurance and if you or your partner are getting Universal Credit.

Not all the benefits are affected by the benefit cap, however the ones who are affected by the cap are:

  1. Bereavement Allowance
  2. Child Benefit
  3. Child Tax Credit
  4. Employment and Support Allowance (unless you get the ‘support’ component)
  5. Housing Benefit
  6. Incapacity Benefit
  7. Income Support
  8. Jobseeker’s Allowance
  9. Maternity Allowance
  10. Severe Disablement Allowance
  11. Widowed Parent’s Allowance (or Widowed Mother’s Allowance or Widows Pension if you started getting it before 9 April 2001)
  12. Universal Credit (unless you’ve had a work capability assessment and aren’t fit for work)

Benefits which are not affected by the Benefit Cap are:

You are not affected by the Benefit Cap only if you or your partner qualifies for the Working Tax Credit and is entitled for one of the following benefits:

  1. Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
  2. Armed Forces Independence Payment
  3. Attendance Allowance
  4. Carer’s Allowance
  5. Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  6. Employment and Support Allowance (if you get the support component)
  7. Guardian’s Allowance
  8. Industrial Injuries Benefits (and equivalent payments as part of a War Disablement Pension or the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme)
  9. Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  10. Universal Credit payments towards carer’s costs or for ‘limited capability for work and work-related activity’
  11. War pensions
  12. War Widow’s or War Widower’s Pension

The benefits and premiums are paid directly into your bank account or your building society bank account.

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