Disabled people should be included alongside carers in the £650 one off payment as part of the Cost of Living support package. We have larger utilities bills and food costs when compared to non-disabled people. We rely on these utilities and food to stay alive.
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Without including disabled people for the full £650 entitlement, many more disabled people could die. We might have to switch off or use our equipment less which is vital for our survival. We could be unable to purchase specific food for our dietary requirements. We might be unable to be warm. This could lead to more hospitalisations and death. Most Disabled people already suffer from mental health problems and this will only increase. This could lead to more suicides and death.
Tuesday 11th October 2022
6 million people in receipt of a qualifying disability benefit will receive a £150 payment in September. If they are in receipt of a qualifying benefit, they will also receive the £650 payment.
Our help for households with the cost of living helps all households but has prioritised those on low incomes, those with disability and pensioners.
Many disabled people will be eligible for both the £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment and the £650 Cost of Living Payment. However, the £650 payment is only for those people in receipt of a qualifying means-tested benefit. The Government is not changing these qualifying criteria.
The £650 cost of living payment (split into 2 instalments of £326 and £324) is available to those on benefits such as Universal Credit or income-related ESA. This will support millions of low-income households.
The Government recognises that disabled people face particular cost of living pressures. That is why, in addition, up to 6 million disabled people who are in receipt of a disability benefit (including non means-tested benefits like PIP) will receive a one-off Disability Cost of Living Payment worth £150.
The Disability Cost of Living Payment is just one element of the help for households. Disabled pensioners will also benefit from the £300 increase in Winter Fuel Payments.
Nearly 60% of carers on low incomes who are of working age and on Carer’s Allowance or Carer’s Element claim either an income-related benefit through which they could be entitled to the £326 and £324 Cost of Living Payment or a qualifying disability payment meaning they are entitled to the £150 disability one off payment.
In addition to the £15 billion targeted Cost-of-Living Support, millions of families will benefit from
• a £400 energy rebate, for all domestic energy customers to support with electricity bills under the Energy Bills Support Scheme and
• a £150 Council Tax rebate in England for those in bands A-D
• From 1st October, a new ‘Energy Price Guarantee’ will mean a typical UK household will now pay up to an average £2,500 a year on their energy bill for the next two years. This will save the average household at least £1,000 a year based on current energy prices from October.
The Government is also providing an additional £500 million to help households with the cost of essentials, bringing the total funding for this support to £1.5 billion. In England, £421m will be used to further extend the Household Support Fund from October 2022 to March 2023. Guidance and individual local authority indicative allocations for this further extension to the Household Support Fund will be announced in due course. Authorities should particularly consider how they can support low-income households that cannot increase their income through work, including people with disabilities and unpaid carers. The Household Support Fund is principally intended to be used to support households with energy, food and water costs, although support with wider essentials can also be considered under the scope of the scheme. We know energy bills may be of particular concern to low-income households and so Local Authorities are being encouraged to focus on supporting households with the cost of energy.
This package of support is in addition to the £1.3 billion investment announced in 2021 to help those with disabilities get into and stay in work and ongoing work on reform through the Health and Disability White Paper due to be published later this year.
DWP has comprehensive guidance for colleagues on how to support customers who are having thoughts of suicide and self-harm. If a concern is identified, staff follow a six-point plan that helps them take the right action to get the customer the support they need. The Department also has a detailed mental health training package which includes modules on supporting customers at risk of suicide or self-harm.
Department for Work and Pensions
This is a corrected response. The Government requested to update the response to rectify inaccuracies in the original response, to which the Petitions Committee agreed.
You can find the original response, with details of the inaccuracies in it, towards the bottom of the petition page.