Disability Cost Of Living Payments Land In Bank Accounts – But Is It Enough?

Charities have warned the £150 lump sum "won't touch the sides" for the disabled community.
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Millions of people in the UK will receive the £150 disability payment from the government from Tuesday, September 20, onwards.

It’s part of the government’s £15bn cost of living package which was unveiled back in May. Alongside the lump sum, the Treasury unveiled an extra £400 as part of an energy bills grant, an extra £650 payment for the worst-off households, and a £300 payment for pensioners.

An estimated six million Brits are expected to benefit from the disability payment to help with the cost of living crisis, with food and energy prices soaring.

Here’s what you need to know.

How does it work?

The one-off disability payment will go straight into people’s bank accounts. It is being rolled out from September 20, and the government has promised that all recipients will receive the money within a couple of weeks, meaning most people should see the lump sum by October 2022.

It is not means-tested, but may go to people who receive:

  • Attendance allowance

  • Constant attendance allowance

  • Disability living allowance for adults

  • Disability living allowance for children

  • Personal independence payment

  • Adult disability payment (in Scotland)

  • Child disability payment (in Scotland)

  • Armed forces independence payment

  • War pension mobility supplement

People are eligible if they received a payment from one of the benefits above by May 25, 2022.

If you receive the disability payment, but are later found not to be eligible, you may have to pay it back, according to the gov.uk website.

This is on top of freezing the energy price cap at £2,500 a policy which Liz Truss announced during her first week in office.

Why it this needed?

The disability equality charity Scope found earlier in 2022 that disabled people in England and Wales were twice as likely to live in poverty and more than twice as likely to live in a cold house they could not afford to heat.

This same research claimed that disabled people have to pay an average £583 extra per year, and they are also three times more likely to be unable to afford food.

Is the payment enough?

No, according to charities. James Taylor, the director of strategy at Scope, has criticised the payment for not being sufficient support.

“Life costs more when you’re disabled, so the £150 put forward by government won’t touch the sides,” he said.

“Even with freezing the price cap, energy bills will have doubled in a year.

“Scope has been inundated with calls from disabled people who don’t know how they will keep warm this winter and many others who won’t be turning their heating on at all.”

This will have a knock on consequences for people’s health, and push them further into debt, according to the charity.

He added that some people have already had their energy supply cut off or are on pre-payment meters which they can’t afford to top up.

He called for targeted financial support, and urged Truss not to “abandon disabled people in this budget”.

Citizens Advice chief Dame Clare Moriarty did express her support for the disability payment when it was first announced earlier this year.

However, she did point out: “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.”

People on Twitter are also criticising the payments for not being large enough.

Back in August, then minister for disabled people, health and work, Chloe Smith, defended the new payment.

She pointed out that the £150 lump sum is on top of the £1,200 most low-income benefit claimants will receive, including help with transport and prescription costs.

“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.”