Cost of living payment for Britons with disabilities slammed as ‘not sufficient’ as rate hike rejected

Cost of living payment for Britons with disabilities slammed as ‘not sufficient’ as rate hike rejected

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Patrick O'Donnell

By Patrick O'Donnell

Published: 31/01/2024

- 10:28

Cost of living payments have been rolled out in recent years to help those on benefits and with disabilities get by financially

The Government rejected calls for an increase to the £150 cost of living payment rate for disabled Britons late last week.

In November 2023, the all-party Work and Pensions Committee published its report into whether the pandemic-era financial support measures met its aims to “protect the most vulnerable”.

While the cost of living payments are found to be welcome, the £150 sum for those with disabilities was deemed to be insufficient to deal with the wider cost of living crisis.

Sir Stephen Timms MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, said: “Despite the support payments making an important impact in helping those in need, some either did not receive sufficient help or missed out.”

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Man in wheelchair

The Government has not committed to further cost of living support for people with a disability


During the cost of living crisis, various support payments were rolled out for vulnerable groups, including a £150 amount for people with disabilities and £900 for claimants of means-tested benefits.

The Committee’s found there has not been adequate explanation as to why £150 was determined as a suitable payment for disabled people during a rise in the cost of living.

The report urged the Government to detail why a payment of this amount was considered sufficient and suggested an increase in financial support for those with disabilities in proportion to the additional costs that disabled people occur, if there are future payments to come.

In its response, the Government rebuked the report’s recommendation that any future cost of living support payments should take account of family size.

It also did not accept the Committee’s suggestion that anyone who misses a payment due to receiving regular earnings on a non-monthly basis should be issued the missed payment in the mop-up system.

The Government did not answer why £150 was considered a reasonable amount for disabled people.

Furthermore, the Government did not outline whether the sum was enough for people who are unable to claim the £900 means-tested payment.

There has been no announcement of a plan to introduce another £150 disability cost of living payment later this year.

Jeremy Hunt in picturesJeremy Hunt announced a £900 cost of living payment scheme for people on low income this financial year and £150 Disability Cost of Living PaymentPA

In its statement, the Government asserted that is has given 6.4 million disabled Britons an extra £150 in cost of living payments “at a cost of £1billion”.

The Government added: “The Department estimates that over 2023/24 nearly 60 per cent of individuals that receive a qualifying disability benefit will receive additional support through a means tested benefit payment.

“Over 85 per cent will receive either or both of the means-tested and pensioner cost of living Payment.

“In setting the level of the cost-of-living payments, the Government believes that it is right that the highest amount goes to those on means-tested benefits as those on the lowest incomes will be most vulnerable to rises in the cost of living.”

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