Around six million people on disability benefits in Scotland will receive £150 to help them cope with increasing living costs, but some feel it is insufficient. £150 is equivalent to $167.
Katy Styles is a full-time caregiver for her husband Mark, who has a rare form of muscular dystrophy and will be eligible for the one-time payment. Mr. Styles requires a lot of equipment and care that relies on electricity, and their monthly bills are already higher than ever – and continuously climbing.
Some disabled people rely on equipment such as ventilators, feeding pumps, and power wheelchairs, all of which require electricity to run correctly. People can’t survive without nutrition or oxygen. Without mobility aids, people can be stuck in bed.
In the U.S, Brenna Delwisch struggled to remain awake when PG&E cut the power to her family’s isolated ranch in Northern California shortly after midnight one night in 2019. She feared her mother might die if she slept. Her mother, Michele Newton, suffered an aortic dissection. This is a rupture of the heart arteries that can be fatal—a few years ago. She also had a stroke. Since then, Newton has struggled with severe sleep apnea. She uses a CPAP at night to breathe.
People receiving the armed forces independence payment, constant attendance allowance, disability living allowance, personal independence payment, attendance allowance, Scottish disability benefits (adult disability payment and child disability payment), or the war pension mobility supplement are eligible for the lump sum.
Instead of the £650 Cost of Living Payment provided to those who receive other kinds of social security, those who only receive personal independence payments or the disability living allowance are awarded a £150 payment from the government. They still have other needs, though.
Life already costs more when you’re disabled, according to James Taylor, head of strategy at the disability charity Scope, who spoke to Sky News: “Even before this cost of living crisis, disabled people were facing extra costs.” These extra costs amount to about £580 a month.
Disabled people often struggle to afford necessities. Inflation has impacted millions of disabled people around the world. Scotland needs to increase disability benefits. People’s lives depend on these benefits. Without them, people with disabilities around the world could die.
Luna, Taryn, and Anita Chabria. “PG&E Power Outages Bring Darkness, Stress and Debt to California’s Poor and Elderly.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 11 Oct. 2019, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-10-11/pge-power-outage-darkness-stress-debt-vulnerable.
Norford, Olga. “£150 Disability Cost of Living Payment Not Enough to Avoid a Crisis This Winter Says Milton Keynes Charity.” Milton Keynes Citizen, Milton Keynes Citizen, 21 Sept. 2022, https://www.miltonkeynes.co.uk/news/people/ps150-disability-cost-of-living-payment-not-enough-to-avoid-a-crisis-this-winter-says-milton-keynes-charity-3851876?amp.
Zahid, Aisha. “Warnings That £150 Extra Cost-of-Living Help for Those on Disability Benefits Is ‘Not Enough’.” Sky News, Sky News, 20 Sept. 2022, https://news.sky.com/story/amp/warnings-that-150-extra-cost-of-living-help-for-those-on-disability-benefits-is-not-enough-12701701.