Help Disabled people survive the cost of living crisis

Image shows many items of medical equipment plugged into electric sockets in a Disabled person's bedroom.

Why this is important?

Poverty among Disabled people is a massive and growing problem. Over a decade of cuts in government social provision has left many Disabled people without access to essentials and caused or contributed to hundreds of thousands of deaths.

  • Half of all people living in poverty are either Disabled people themselves or have a Disabled person in their household.
  • More than half of people who use food banks are Disabled people.
  • Social care charging means Disabled people have to pay out of their pockets for essential care, despite often having very low incomes.
But things are currently getting much, much worse, as the costs of food and energy are rising exponentially. Disabled people’s energy costs are often higher than those of non-disabled people because we may need to run the heating more (to cope with lower mobility or prevent severe illness due to weakened immune systems) and to charge essential medical and mobility equipment. This means the increases in energy costs hit us harder. A two-person household living with disability (which is headed by a single parent carer) recently sent us copies of their energy bills – their direct debit increased to over £1000 per month for gas and electricity.

Despite this crisis, none of the government measures announced in response to the energy crisis are targeted or ringfenced for Disabled people. Instead, the government is removing the only current support for Disabled people’s higher energy needs, by changing the eligibility criteria for the Warm Home Discount. As a result, 290,000 people who receive the disability benefits PIP, DLA, and AA, will no longer be eligible.

Instead of helping us, the government is actively reducing our support.

What we are calling for?

We are calling for the government to help Disabled people survive the current price increases. This should include introducing the following policies:

  • An emergency uprating of benefits to at least match inflation, bringing the 2022 increase to 8% or higher. The uprating must apply to legacy benefits as well as Universal Credit, to ensure Disabled people are not disadvantaged.
  • Reverse the changes to the eligibility criteria for the Warm Home Discount, to retain support for Disabled people’s higher energy needs.
  • Provide additional targeted support for Disabled people with high energy needs, regardless of immigration status.
  • Remove the requirement to pay back the £200 repayable ‘discount’ (loan) proposed as part of the Energy Bill Support Scheme.
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Letter Campaign by
Julia Modern
London, United Kingdom
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