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Disabled people to receive £150 pay-out

coins laid out on a table on top of a 20 pound note
coins laid out on a table on top of a 20 pound note Image credit: southampton.gov.uk

The government has announced around six million disabled people will receive a one-off payment of £150 to help with the cost of living.

Those eligible for the handout will have the money in their bank account from September 20 to go towards the rising cost of energy bills, food, ongoing care and specialist equipment.

But the payout has been criticised by charities saying the amount is not enough as household bills are set to skyrocket this winter.

Tom Marsland, policy manager at Scope, said the payment "isn't going to touch the sides in the face of energy bills predicted to reach more than £4,000 a year by January".

"Many disabled people have no choice but to use more energy to charge vital equipment and keep warm," he warned.

"Disabled people need much more financial support. This cannot wait - the government must double the support package now."

Experts from Cornwall Insight predict a standard gas and electricity bill could rise to £4,650 a year from January with bills expected to rise from £1,971 to £3,554 a year from October.

Economists believe energy bills could push inflation by 18% in 2023, making it the fastest rate for more than 40 years.

A study by Scope found disabled people in England and Wales are twice as likely to live in poverty, twice as likely to live in a cold home because they can’t afford heating bills and three times more likely not to be able to afford food.

Chief executive for Citizens Advice, Dame Clare Moriarty, said: "The support announced so far is rapidly being gobbled up by spiralling prices. More must be done to prevent desperate situations this winter, like people turning off vital equipment or wrapping themselves in blankets to keep warm."

Chole Smith, minister for disabled people, health and work, said the payment will support disabled people with the rising cost of living.

"This £150 disability payment is on top of the £1,200 most low-income benefit claimants will also receive and alongside wider support targeted at disabled people, including help with transport and prescription costs," she said.

"We know it's a worrying time for some people and I'd urge them to check they are getting all the support on offer."

The Big Issue defines a cost of living crisis as "a situation in which the cost of everyday essentials like groceries and bills are rising faster than average household incomes.”