Scott showing off this kitchen at Moray Lodge

Cost of living

Disabled people are having to choose between eating and heating their homes thanks to rising living costs.

Life costs more if you’re disabled

Disabled people have faced many additional costs, even before prices started rising. From charging or repairing vital disability equipment to heating homes to manage a condition. 

These extra costs now reach an average of £975 every month for disabled households. 

[Source: Scope 2023]

It’s very difficult to keep up with the higher cost of living. We can only have the heating on for three days out of five and we’re having beans on toast for Sunday roast.

The stats

Times are tough for everyone as the cost of living crisis continues to bite. 

This is putting pressure on all households, but disabled households are feeling this more than most.

Illustration of people sitting around a table

Missing meals

68% of disabled people are worried they’ll have to skip meals to cope this winter. [Source: Sense, 2023]

Illustrations of a house with people standing at the window

Heating or eating

More than half (56%) of disabled people are struggling to afford their energy bills. [Source: ONS, 2023]

Illustration of a carer and resident

Food banks

One in seven working-age people referred to food banks are disabled. [Source: Trussell Trust, 2023]

Support can't wait


As we enter another Winter it is daunting to think about how much worse it could get. More than half of disabled people we surveyed said they felt anxious, depressed or hopeless about financial worries or problems. 

Last winter disabled people told us they were rationing their energy use, causing implications for their physical and mental health. With the Energy Bills Support Scheme no longer in place, we fear a repeat in the winter ahead.

The government risks further pushing disabled people to breaking point unless it takes action now.

We've joined other charities in an open letter calling on Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to take urgent action in his Autumn Statement to support disabled households through the ongoing cost of living crisis.

What are we calling for

We need:

  • All benefits increased at least in line with inflation.
  • Additional financial support for disabled households this winter.
  • A review to ensure benefits cover the essentials, including the extra costs that come with disability.
  • Consultation on an energy social tariff to protect disabled people.
  • Improvements to the Household Support Fund and long-term funding committed from April 2024.
Chloe in her wheelchair typing on a keyboard at home

Rising costs will soon leave me out of options

One of our supporters told us about the impact the cost of living crisis is having on their life and why they're scared for the future.

"I've become an expert in frugality, owing to the ever-increasing difficulty of making ends meet on disability benefits that have not been adequately adjusted for inflation and rising costs."

Stock image of an empty fridge