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‘Costly differences’ – how the cost of living is affecting people with a disability

In 2022 people with a disability were the largest group of CAEE clients needing help with benefits.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and related allowances accounted for 54% of the most common benefit problems (chart below).

In July we reported Citizens Advice research showing delays with PIP causing serious difficulty. Now we can look at our CAEE full-year numbers alongside new research from Resolution Foundation*, an independent think tank with a focus on low- and middle-income households.

Worrying Resolution findings include
  • People with a disability are far more likely to be poor than the rest of the population. Of 8000 adults interviewed, I in 3 in the lowest household decile have a disability, compared to fewer than 1 in 10 in the highest income decile (chart at end).
  • 41% said they couldn’t afford to keep their homes warm, compared to 23% of the non-disabled population.
  • 31% of people with a disability say they have had to reduce food spending, compared to 18% of the non-disabled population.
More help needed

On top of cost-of-living payments for people who receive benefits the government has confirmed an additional £150 for people living with a disability. This is most welcome.

But based on the daily experience of our advisers and our own CAEE data we fully support the foundation’s key conclusion:

“Central government – and local governments, through the Household Support Fund (or equivalent programmes outside England) – must consider how to provide more help for people with disabilities through the remaining months of winter.”

* Costly Differences: Living standards for working-age people with disabilities

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