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Severe Disability Premium

A Severe Disability Premium is an extra amount that is included in some means-tested benefits to help with the cost of disability.

1. What is a Severe Disability Premium?

A Severe Disability Premium is an extra amount that is included in some means-tested benefits to help with the cost of disability.

People who are entitled to a Severe Disability Premium cannot claim Universal Credit and can still make new claims for the benefits Universal Credit replaces. Use our calculator to check which benefits you might be able to claim because of your severe disability premium.

Updated: March 2019

2. Can I get a Severe Disability Premium?

To get a Severe Disability Premium you have to be getting an income related benefit. This could be Income Support, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Guarantee Pension Credit, or Housing Benefit.

You also must be getting one of these benefits:

If you are single:

  • No one must be getting Carer’s Allowance or Carer’s Element of Universal Credit for looking after you, and
  • You must be the only adult in the household. If you live with a flatmate who you split bills with, you will probably be treated as the only adult in the household.
  • If you live with another adult who is not your partner, you might still be entitled to a Severe Disability Premium. This can be complicated and you should use our tool to find an adviser

If you are a couple:

Qualifying for a Severe Disability Premium in other situations

If you are part of a couple and your partner is registered blind, you can still qualify for SDP paid at the single rate even if your partner does not get a qualifying benefit.

Severe Disability Premium and carers

It is important to talk to the person who cares for you about whether they get Carer’s Allowance or the Carer’s Element in Universal Credit

If the person who cares for you is thinking of claiming Carer's Allowance or the Carer's Element in Universal Credit, you should get advice. If your carer is paid Carer’s Allowance or Carer’s Element of Universal Credit, it will stop you from getting a Severe Disability Premium. Your Council Tax Support can also be affected. You can use our Find an Adviser tool to find local advice.

Updated: March 2019

3. Severe Disability Premium and Universal Credit

The Severe Disability Premium does not exist in Universal Credit. At the moment, people who are entitled to Severe Disability Premium cannot claim Universal Credit. If you are entitled to a Severe Disability Premium, you can still make new claims for the benefits Universal Credit replaces.

If you were entitled to a Severe Disability Premium and claimed Universal Credit before 16 January 2019, you will be entitled to compensation at some point in the future.

If you were entitled to a Severe Disability Premium and claimed Universal Credit after 16 January 2019 you can go back onto the benefits Universal Credit replaces. This can be complicated, and you should find an adviser.

Updated: March 2019

4. How much Severe Disability Premium will I get?

There are two rates of Severe Disability Premium 

Single person rate  £65.85 per week
Couple rate            £131.70 per week

If you and your partner both get a qualifying benefit and someone gets Carer's Allowance or Carer’s Element of Universal Credit for looking after you (or your partner), your Severe Disability Premium will be paid at the single rate.

If you are getting Severe Disability Premium, it will show on your award letter as ‘extra money because you are severely disabled’.

Updated: April 2019

5. How do I claim a Severe Disability Premium?

Lots of people who are entitled to a Severe Disability Premium have not been getting it.

Severe Disability Premium can be backdated to when you became entitled to it. In some cases, this can be for a long time and can mean you get a big back payment.

Because a Severe Disability Premium is an extra amount on other benefits, how you claim it depends on which benefits you get.

You will need to contact the office for the benefit you get and tell them that you think you should be entitled to a Severe Disability Premium.

After you tell the benefits office that you think you should be getting a Severe Disability Premium, you might be sent a form to fill out.

Updated: March 2019

6. How do I challenge a Severe Disability Premium decision?

If you disagree with the decision made on your benefit claim you can ask for a written statement of reasons.

If you still believe the decision is wrong, for example due to incorrect information being used, you can ask for it to be looked at again, and/or appeal.

The time limits are strict, you will usually be given one month to dispute a decision, so it is important to seek advice and act quickly.

If the decision you want to challenge was made by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), you can find more information on our page on Challenging Decisions by the Department for Work and Pensions.

If you had claimed a Severe Disability Premium in your Housing Benefit, you can find more information on our page on Challenging Housing Benefit Decisions.

Updated: March 2019