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Disabled man can’t afford running vital equipment

Ed
Ed Image credit: bbc.co.uk

A disabled man has said he is no longer able to afford vital equipment to ease his condition because of the cost-of-living crisis.

Ed has multiple sclerosis, he’s one of thousands of vulnerable people who will suffer astronomical increase prices to energy bills this winter.

The 46-year-old from Cheshire told BBC News

he is “dreading” the coming months, despite the government releasing its plan to support people like Ed.

"It'll be a big worry when I come to switch my heating on, food's going to become a non-essential,” he said.

Ed (pictured above) receives employment support allowance and personal independence payment benefits, but it’s "barely enough to live off".

"We hear stories of people going to libraries or staying on buses to stay warm, I can't do that because I don't have access to such things and it's quite painful if I get too cold," he said.

"So I'm sat here with a towel over my lap, wearing a hat in front of the TV. No one should have to live like this, whether they are working or disabled or not."

Warren Kiwan, from Scope, told BBC Radio Manchester the charity is asking the government to increase disability benefits.

He said: "They've got equipment that they have to use, powered wheelchairs and hoists. These aren't luxury extras, they're things that people need to live.

"The £150 cost of living disability payment doesn't even touch the sides, we're calling for it to be doubled."

A government spokesman said eight million low-income households will receive at least £1,200 in support, including £650 in direct cost of living payments this year.

"We know that living with a long-term illness or disability can impact on living costs, which is why we are supporting six million disabled people with an extra £150 payment," he added.

Scope said Ed’s story was “all too common”.