Disability: Costs

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 16th May 2023.

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Photo of Fabian Hamilton Fabian Hamilton Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Scope report entitled Disability Price Tag 2023: the extra cost of disability, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of that report's findings on additional costs for disabled households.

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

There have been many studies estimating the costs of disability, including the Scope report. The findings vary due to the definitions of disability and the method being used.

The Government understands the pressures people, including those who are disabled, are facing with the cost of living and has taken further, decisive action to support people with their energy bills. We are providing extensive support to disabled people, and those with a long term health condition, to help them live independent lives. In 2023/24, we will spend around £78.6bn on benefits to support disabled people and people with health conditions in Great Britain.

In April, we uprated benefit rates and State Pensions by 10.1%. In order to increase the number of households who can benefit from these uprating decisions, the benefit cap levels are also increasing by the same amount.

In addition, for 2023/24, households on eligible means-tested benefits will get up to £900 in Cost of Living Payments. This will be split into three payments across the 2023/24 financial year, with the first payment of £301 being made between 25 April and 17 May. A separate £150 payment will be made to individuals in receipt of eligible disability benefits in the summer. Further to this, the Energy Price Guarantee will be extended from April 2023 until the end of March 2024, meaning a typical household bill will be around £2,500 per year in Great Britain.

The Household Support Fund will continue until March 2024. This year long extension allows local authorities in England to continue to provide discretionary support to those most in need with the significantly rising cost of living. The guidance for local authorities for this next iteration has now been published and can be found here: 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024: Household Support Fund guidance for county councils and unitary authorities in England - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). The devolved administrations will receive consequential funding as usual to spend at their discretion.

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