Cold comfort - 290,000 disabled people could miss out

There’s both good and bad news for disabled people on allowances this winter, says Paul Lewis

Published: September 1, 2022 at 3:05 pm

Are you on disability benefit? If so, you could be in for a pleasant surprise. An extra £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment will be included with your benefit in September if you already qualify for one of the following allowances:

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1 Attendance Allowance at the lower or higher rate for those over 66, or the Constant Attendance Allowance for war pensioners;

2 Disability Living Allowance of any rate for adults or for children;

3 Personal Independence Payment;

4 Adult or Child Disability Payment (only paid in Scotland);

5 Armed Forces Independence Payment or War Pension Mobility Supplement.

The money is to help with the rising cost of living and the dreaded energy bills, expected to double this winter, and will be paid to you automatically, in the same way that your benefit is usually paid.

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To qualify, you must have received (or qualified to get) the benefit for 25 May 2022. If you get more than one of the above benefits you’ll still only get one payment. The £150 is tax-free and won’t affect any other pension or benefit.

On a gloomier note, almost 300,000 disabled people under pension age will lose £150 of extra help this year – as they will be excluded from the Warm Home Discount (£150 off one winter electricity bill, paid by their energy supplier). However, it will be paid automatically to people on certain means tested benefits who live in a hard to-heat home.

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The Government’s own assessment is that 290,000 disabled people who got the payment in the past will be excluded this year. Many others who didn’t get it before will now be eligible, pushing up the numbers by 750,000 and the cost by £125 million. But that’s no comfort to those who will miss out – ask your energy supplier about the Warm Home Discount to see if you qualify this year. People over 66 on the Guarantee
Credit element of Pension Credit will continue to get the payment – at least that’s one heart-warming piece of news.

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Paul Lewis presents Money Box on Radio 4. QUESTIONS? Send any questions to Paul.Lewis@radiotimes.com.

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