People on health and disability benefits said they would lose hundreds of pounds in vital cash to help cover the cost of living.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s package will impact Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) claimants, who will receive £500 less than those on benefits under resource condition. A petition calling for people with disabilities or chronic conditions to receive more money is approaching 10,000 signatures and will be considered for debate in parliament if it reaches 100,000, reports BirminghamLive.
Around six million people on disability benefits expect to receive £150 in September, while around eight million out of seven means-tested benefits such as Universal Credit will receive a much higher amount of £650, at pay in two installments – the first in July, the second in the fall. The petitionset up by Abigail Broomfield, outlines how people with disabilities and carers should also receive the £650.
The £150 payment will go to those in receipt of DLA, PIP, Attendance Allowance, Scottish Disability Benefit, Armed Forces Independence Payment, Constant Attendance Allowance and Supplement mobility of war pensions.
Ms Broomfield wrote on the petition: “Disabled people should be included alongside carers in the £650 one-off payment under the Cost of Living Support Scheme. We have utility bills and the costs of food more important than non-disabled people. We rely on those utilities and food to stay alive.”
She also said the cash shortage would have devastating consequences. The petition continued: “Without including disabled people for the full £650 entitlement, many more disabled people could die. We may have to switch off or use less of our equipment, which is vital for our survival.
“We may not be able to buy specific foods for our dietary needs. We may not be able to keep warm. This could lead to more hospitalizations and deaths. Most people with disabilities already suffer from health problems mental health and it will only increase. It could lead to more suicides and deaths.”
People who receive the £150 disabled cost of living payment in September will, like all other UK households, also receive the £150 energy rebate through the municipal tax system and the electricity rebate. £400 energy from suppliers from October. They may also be eligible to receive money from the Household Support Fund, depending on the rules of their local authority.
Other activists have also criticized the Chancellor’s measures. Speaking to BirminghamLive, Legacy Benefits Info said: “Mr Sunak is finally doing something about the cost of living crisis. But it could have been more targeted at the most vulnerable. Increasing benefits would have been an easier solution. than those on contribution-based benefits seem to have been left out – and carers also seem to have been overlooked.
“The 2.4 million people on benefits and 120,000 carers have not received the Covid increase given to Universal Credit totaling £1,560 and are suffering and starving in real poverty well before this latest crisis. There are those who are terminally ill and for some unfortunately this last promise of help has come far too late. The implications are far-reaching.
Who receives the £650 cost of living payment?
The government says the £650 cost of living payment will go to all households receiving the following seven benefits:
- Universal Credit
- Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Employment and Income Support Benefit (ESA)
- Income support
- Work Tax Credit
- Child tax credit
- Pension credit
Claimants will need to be in receipt of one of the benefits mentioned above or have started a claim (which was subsequently successful) by May 25, 2022 to be eligible for the first of two installments. The government has said that it will set the eligibility date for the second tranche at a later date.
This payment will be tax-free, will not count against the benefit cap and will have no impact on the amount anyone already receives in state assistance, according to government guidelines. Payments will go directly to households across the UK in the same way you receive your regular benefits, such as a bank or building society account.
Check what state assistance you are entitled to by using a benefits calculator to see what you might be missing.