Cost of Living Payments: Disability

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 13th December 2022.

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Photo of Catherine West Catherine West Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make an assessment of the adequacy of the cost of living payments for disabled people who are not on means tested benefits and who have high energy usage.

Photo of Tom Pursglove Tom Pursglove The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

The Government is providing extensive support to disabled people and those with a health condition to help them live independent lives. In 2022/23 we will spend around £66bn on benefits to support disabled people and people with health conditions in Great Britain.

The Government understands the pressures people are facing with the cost of living, including disabled people, and has taken further, decisive action to support people with their energy bills. The Energy Price Guarantee is supporting millions of households with rising energy costs in addition to other cost of living support announced earlier this year, which includes:

  • the £400 non-repayable discount to eligible households provided through the Energy Bills Support Scheme;
  • a Disability Cost of Living Payment of £150 to six million people in recognition of the extra costs they face, including with energy costs;
  • up to £650 in Cost of Living Payments for the eight million households in receipt of a means-tested benefit;
  • a one-off payment of £300 through, and as an addition to, the Winter Fuel Payment from November to pensioner households.

To ensure ongoing stability and certainty for households, in the Autumn Statement we announced further support for next year designed to target the most vulnerable households. This cost of living support is worth £26 billion in 2023-24, in addition to uprating benefits for working age households and disabled people as well as the basic and new State Pensions by 10.1%. In order to increase the number of households who can benefit from these uprating decisions, the benefit cap will also be increased by 10.1%. Alongside further Cost of Living Payments for the most vulnerable, including for disabled people, the amended Energy Price Guarantee will save the average UK household £500 in 2023-24.

For those who require extra support, the Government is providing an additional £1 billion of funding, including Barnett impact, to enable the extension of the Household Support Fund in England in the next financial year. This is on top of what we have already provided since October 2021, bringing total funding to £2.5 billion. In England, this will be delivered through an extension to the Household Support Fund backed by £842 million, running from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024, which local authorities use to help households with the cost of essentials. It will be for the devolved administrations to decide how to allocate their additional Barnett funding.

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