More than 35,000 to receive £150 disability cost-of-living payment in Wigan borough
More than 35,000 people on disability benefits in Wigan borough are now beginning to receive £150, 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 35,300 individuals in Wigan, Leigh and Makerfield can expect the payment over the coming weeks, with the Government saying that the vast majority of those eligible should have received it by the start of October. Hundreds more will be eligible for those living in the Wigan borough part of the Bolton West ward.
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 11,300 were eligible for that payment in Makerfield, 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 820,000 in the North West.
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.