Terminally ill man takes Government to court after Universal Credit scheme ‘left him too poor to travel to chemo sessions’
The 52-year-old, who hasn't been named, and another man who has launched legal action claim they have lost around £178 per month.
The High Court was told the "significant" drop in monthly income was having "seriously detrimental impacts on their health and well-being".
The two men whose cases are at the centre of the judicial review action against the Work and Pensions Secretary are referred to as TP and AR.
TP, 52, is terminally ill and is "struggling to pay for transport to hospital to undergo gruelling sessions of chemotherapy".
While 36-year-old AR, who suffers from mental health issues, is having to use food banks after the scheme was brought in.
We believe that by taking away these essential benefits from some of the most vulnerable people in society, the government has acted unlawfully
Their lawyer Zoe Leventhal, told Mr Justice Lewis they "are no longer able to meet many of their basic needs".
They had lost around £178 per month after having to move to the Universal Credit system – which replaced a range of means-tested welfare benefits with one single benefit.
Law firm Leigh Day, which is representing them, said the outcome of the case could potentially affect "thousands of severely disabled people across the country".
Partner Tessa Gregory said: "Our clients are taking this action because we consider that the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has unlawfully discriminated against our clients and many other severely disabled people living alone with no carer.
"Despite claims to the contrary from the government thousands of people are losing out as a result of moving to Universal Credit.
"The Department for Work and Pensions has axed payments specifically targeted at the severely disabled and refused to provide any top up payments to make up that loss.
"We believe that by taking away these essential benefits from some of the most vulnerable people in society, the government has acted unlawfully."
The Universal Credit policy is one of the most controversial policies rolled out by the Conservative Government in recent years.
The aim is to simplify the welfare system by replacing different benefits for things like jobseeker's allowance or housing benefit with a single monthly payment.
The Government had said that three million working households would see cash gains from Universal Credit.
Supporters say it is easier to understand than previous systems but critics argue it can leave people without any income for weeks.
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