DR UK says £150 September Cost of Living payment to disabled people “nowhere near enough”

Mon,22 August 2022
News Benefits

Around 6 million disabled people in the UK will receive their one-off £150 disability Cost of Living payment from 20 September, the Government has confirmed.

Those being paid a qualifying disability benefit will be paid automatically from 20 September, with the “vast majority of those eligible” expected to receive their one-off payment within a couple of weeks by the beginning of October.

The £150 payment - which forms part of a cost of living package announced on 26 May 2022 - is to be paid to someone who is entitled to a specified disability benefit that was payable in respect of 25 May 2022.

Full details about the Government’s Help for Households cost of living package are available from gov.uk.

The Government said that the £150 payment will help disabled people with the rising Cost of Living acknowledging the higher disability-related costs they often face, such as food, care and support services, equipment, energy, fuel and travel costs.

Ken Butler DR UK’s Welfare Rights and Policy Adviser said: It’s good that the Government accepts that disabled people face extra costs.

But this £150 one-off payment is simply nowhere near enough in the face of the huge rise in fuel bills and double digit inflation.

New data published by the Office of National Statistics shows that disabled people are more likely than non-disabled people to have reduced their spending on food and essentials because of their increased costs of living (42%, compared with 31%).

Earlier this month, the Disability Poverty Campaign Group (DPCG), that includes DR UK, wrote to the Chancellor to accept a seven-point plan that it believes will save disabled people’s lives this winter.

 The DPCG calls on the Treasury to put in place the following measures by 1 October 2022:

  • benefits - including the ‘extra-costs benefits’ (Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance) - must receive an emergency uprating. The uprating must at least match the latest Bank of England predicted inflation rate of 13%.
  • act to ban all arrears-related deductions from benefits.
  • revise the eligibility criteria for the Warm Home Discount to reinstate eligibility for the £150 payment to the 300,000 Disabled benefit claimants whose entitlement to the rebate has been wrongfully removed.
  • put in place further targeted, non-repayable welfare support to Disabled people in vulnerable circumstances.
  • social care to be made free at the point of use, and a ban on local authorities taking debt recovery action again service-users who have not paid care charges.
  • the energy tariffs for customers using pre-payment meters – who pay in advance for their gas and electricity – to be the same as those for customers using standard meters.
  • better protection for those disabled people who may not be able to top up their pre-payment meters this winter and so face the possibility of having no power through so-called self-disconnection.

These DPCG calls are the actions needed to ensure the health and wellbeing of disabled people during the cost of living crisis.

A one-off £150 payment doesn’t touch the sides.”

Read the full DPCG letter to the Chancellor on the DR UK website.