Sense welcome government’s commitment to increase benefits in-line with inflation, but warn temporary cash payments may not be enough for disabled people facing crisis

  • The disability charity, and social care provider, also welcomed the announcement of additional funding for social care, but warned that it’s not enough and providers will continue to struggle to offer the right support.

London, UK, 17 November 2022 – The national disability charity, Sense, has welcomed the government’s commitment to increase benefits in-line with inflation, and new cash payments to support disabled people with the cost-of-living, but warned that it may not be enough for those facing crisis this winter.

The latest research reveals that disabled people were struggling even before the crisis. According to Sense, before this year, disabled people were three times more likely to be unable to heat their home (9 per cent) than those with no disability (3 per cent). Rising to eight times (24 per cent) for people with more complex needs. With costs spiralling this year, nearly three quarters (72 per cent) of disabled households now say they are in debt.

Sense is calling for a dedicated plan to support disabled households with rising energy costs long-term, which should include more targeted support such as social energy tariffs and support over a longer period.

The charity also welcomes the additional funding for social care but warned it will not be enough and providers will continue to struggle to offer the right support. Working age disabled adults make up a third of adult social care users accounting for half of local authority spending on social care.

Richard Kramer, Sense Chief Executive, said:

“The government’s commitment to uprating benefits in line with inflation is long overdue, and will be welcomed by disabled households across the country who have been left anxious and fearful over how they’ll keep up with rising prices.

The additional cost-of-living payments will ease some of the immediate pressure facing households, but with the energy cap rising again next year, the brutal reality is that this does not go far enough and won’t ease the real pain that disabled people and families will face over the winter months, never-mind provide a long-term solution.  

Everyone has been affected by this crisis, disabled households have been one of the hardest hit. They face higher costs for essentials like energy, having to use more of it  to charge vital equipment, such as electric wheelchairs and breathing machines.

Energy needs to be made fair for disabled people and that can only happen through more targeted support accounting for their essential higher energy usage.

Adding to financial pressures is the crisis in social care which disabled people are paying the price for. Today’s funding for social care is welcome, but it’s not enough for social care providers to offer the right support– just as the cost-of-living crisis is already making it harder for disabled people to lead independent and meaningful lives. The funding won’t be sufficient and is papering over the cracks. Further national funding for social care is needed and we must ensure it reaches the front line and that people have packages of support that reflect their needs.”

Earlier this year, in response to the crisis, the charity, for the first time in its history, introduced an emergency support fund, offering financial support to over a thousand families living with a loved-one with complex disabilities.

Contact Sense’s media team

Email: [email protected]
Phone number: 0203 833 0611