Scope, a disability charity, has spoken out about the reality of disabled people being left behind by rising living costs.
Image by Anne Vivian Smith
A woman who is disabled says Cost of living She was driven to debt , as new figures reveal a £1billion shortfall in benefits payments for disabled people.
Charity Scope reported that there were almost 3 million Disabled people are losing out on £367 a year on average in benefits support – adding up to a staggering £1billion.
Because government is the only one responsible. Increased benefits payments by 3.1% Since April 11, however, the cost of living has slowed that increase.
Scope claims that disabled people are often subject to higher costs, including for medical care. energy bills This is why the government must do more to assist.
Anne Vivian Smith, 51, is one of the disabled people affected.
She claims that the government has not done enough to assist disabled people in the cost of living crisis and has fallen into debt.
Anne has a neurodegenerative disease that runs in her blood.
She has high electricity bills because she uses power to power things like a ceiling hoist, power chair, electric adjustable bed, and powered doors.
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She also feels the cold, and she needs to keep her house warm to increase her energy bills.
Anne receives the higher-rate Personal Independence Payment and Employment and Support Allowance benefits.
Since she was too ill to work, she lives with Dave, her husband.
In order to be able enough to help her, he had no choice but to change his career.
Anne estimates their household income decreased by three-quarters due to this.
She said that she deals with the Pandemic Dave, her husband, and her savings were eroded but the couple managed to stay afloat financially.
“Before the pandemic we had some meagre savings, but because I am disabled we started shielding early and the additional cost of getting deliveries ate through those,”She explained.
“But we were doing okay financially, then the price of energy started rising. The cost of living has only worsened our situation.”
Anne and her husband Dave paid around £82 a month for gas and electricity until January, when it went up by £63 to £145.
According to her, her energy company has advised her to expect more increases.
“Almost an extra £70 a month for energy, the money just isn’t there,”She spoke. “We are at the point where there isn’t anything to cut back on. I cant cut back on my wheelchair or hoists.
“In order to save money, I am forced to sit in a cold area.
“To make things worse we did not get the £20-a-week uplift that those on Universal Credit received, because I am on legacy benefits.”
She claims she is concerned about the future as she and her husband have had to borrow money to make ends meet.
“We’re already bouncing debt around,”She spoke. “A credit card is used to pay off a loan, and that has been used to pay for something else. That house of cards is not sustainable.”
Scope executive director James Taylor said: “The failure to uprate benefits in line with current inflation shows a distinct lack of awareness from government that life costs a lot more when you’re disabled.
“Disabled people have no choice but to use more energy to charge vital equipment and keep warm. Disabled people have already been cutting back for months and there’s nothing left to cut back.
“The government must announce direct financial support for disabled people, and at a minimum, make sure PIP matches rises in living costs.”