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Cost of Living: Disability Benefit Claimants

Volume 718: debated on Monday 11 July 2022

19. What steps her Department is taking to support people in receipt of disability benefits with the rising cost of living. (900989)

Six million people in receipt of an eligible disability benefit will receive a £150 disability cost of living payment, as well as the £400 energy bill discount. Many will also be eligible for the £650 cost of living payment for lower-income households, the first instalments of which are being paid this week.

I thank the Minister for that response, but at the time when the then Chancellor came up with that support package in May, Ofgem’s cap prediction was that a typical bill would rise to £2,800 in October. It now looks as though it could be something like £450 more than that, with yet another rise in January. What additional support will whoever the Chancellor is, or will be in a couple of weeks’ time, come up with to ensure people with disabilities can manage to pay their fuel bills?

The helpful thing I can add here is that disabled people can, of course, also benefit from the package previously announced in the spring statement, which continues in the format of the household support fund. Many millions of pounds have already been allocated to local authorities, which are best placed to direct help to those who need it most.