Disabled people suffer a “disability price tag” the forces them to spend an average of £570 extra monthly, a charity has warned.
Scope found that disabled people have “much less” to live on and are having to fork out the extra money on wheelchairs, specially adapted equipment and electricity to power it.
Scope said disabled people spend almost half of their income after housing costs on expenses relating to their disability.
Examples of the extra costs include:
A reclining chair that costs £1,200
£600 for a spare battery for an electric wheelchair
Hand grips for wheelchairs and walkers that cost five times (£25) a grip for a bike (£5).
Knives with an angled blade that cost £15 each
Nearly £4,000 for accessible parking bays
The report, published on Tuesday, says: “This leaves disabled people with much less money to live on.”
One woman, Marie, told Scope her Disability Living Allowance did not cover the extras she had to pay.
“I really need a new wheelchair but it’s gonna cost £9,500. We really can’t afford to cover that cost,” he said.
″I feel guilty as well as a parent, if I can’t do something with Mark, if my wheelchair’s broken for instance.”
“Life costs more if you are disabled,” said Scope chief executive Mark Atkinson.
“Disabled people often have to buy equipment that other people don’t.
“Sometimes their condition means disabled people have no choice but to use more of something, like heating. In other cases, they are charged extortionate rates for things like insurance.
“We’ve heard shocking stories – £15 for a knife, £600 for a wheelchair battery, and £1,200 for a reclining chair – from disabled people all over the country about how much more they are paying.
“Scope research shows that on average all these costs add up to a ‘disability price tag’ of an extra £570 per month.
“We need a complete rethink on how we tackle this issue and how Government, businesses, markets and the public work and interact with disabled people.”
Sarah Newton, Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, said: “Scope rightly highlights that people often face additional costs as a result of their disability, which is why we’re spending more than ever before to support disabled people and those with health conditions.
“We introduced personal independence payments to replace the old system, and now 29% of people receive the highest rate of support, compared with 15% under disability living allowance.
“This government is committed to supporting struggling households and is working closely with a wide range of industries including retail, transport and financial services, to help encourage businesses to focus on the needs of disabled customers to ensure they don’t miss out.”