Thousands to receive £150 disability cost-of-living payment in East Hampshire
Thousands of people on disability benefits in East Hampshire are set to receive £150 from this week, as part of a government package to help with the cost-living-crisis, figures show.
People with disabilities are facing some of the worst impacts of the cost-of-living crisis, having more care and mobility needs than the general population.
The Department of Work and Pensions estimates 6,000 individuals in East Hampshire can expect the payment from this week, with the Government saying that the vast majority of those eligible will have received it by the start of October.
Those who already receive a qualifying disability benefit will be paid automatically, the Government has said.
The new Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, described the scheme as "providing vital support to shield the most vulnerable".
The payment comes in addition to a plan announced by Prime Minister Liz Truss on September 8 to freeze energy bills at £2,500 for the next two years.
Despite this, some have called for more support, including disability charity Scope, who said the £150 payment "won't touch the sides" for many living with disabilities.
The charity’s director of strategy, James Taylor, said they had been “inundated” with calls from disabled people wondering how to keep warm this winter, even with the new price freeze.
He warned the soaring cost of energy could have a "devastating impact" on the health of people with disabilities if they are forced to keep the heating off.
This week’s payment is separate to the £650 cost-of-living payment, the first instalment of which landed over the summer.
The Government said in July that 6,700 were eligible for that payment in East Hampshire, including those on Universal Credit, Jobseeker's Allowance, and those receiving child tax credits.
In total, the DWP estimates around 6.3 million people are eligible for the disability payment across Great Britain – including 681,000 in the South East.
Those eligible for the payment include people who on May 25 were receiving the disability living allowance, personal independence payment, attendance allowance, armed forces independence payment, constant attendance allowance, or the war pension mobility supplement.
People are also being urged to be alert to scammers targeting those expecting cost-of-living payments.
Payments will be automatic, so people should watch out for texts and emails from fraudsters asking for their personal details.
Work and Pensions Secretary Chloe Smith said: "We know disabled people face additional costs, and this government is listening and taking decisive action to protect the most vulnerable in our society.
"This multi-billion-pound package of support reinforces our commitment to help UK households, particularly those with disability challenges, through the tough times ahead."