Rishi Sunak urged to extend £650 cost of living payment as PIP recipients miss out
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Many disabled people “could die” if the one-off payment is not extended to them, an online petition has claimed. The money is being made available to people on low incomes, such as those on Universal Credit, Pension Credit and tax credits.
The extra support is one of several payments the Government is making to support people with the soaring cost of covering their bills.
Those on PIP or Carer’s Allowance are not currently eligible.
The petition says: “Disabled people should be included alongside carers in the £650 one off payment as part of the Cost of Living support package.
“We have larger utility bills and food costs when compared to non-disabled people. We rely on these utilities and food to stay alive.
“Without including disabled people for the full £650 entitlement, many more disabled people could die.”
The petition has been signed by almost 15,000 people at the time of writing.
The Government has to respond to all petitions that reach 10,000 signatures, but this has not yet been published.
The petition says: “We might have to switch off or use our equipment less which is vital for our survival.
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“We could be unable to purchase specific food for our dietary requirements.
“We might be unable to be warm. This could lead to more hospitalisations and death.
“Most disabled people already suffer from mental health problems and this will only increase.
“This could lead to more suicides and death.”
Express.co.uk contacted the Department of Work and Pensions for comment.
A spokesperson said: “We know that living with a long-term illness or disability can impact on living costs, which is why financial support is available to those with disabilities or caring responsibilities and we urge people to check they are getting all the help to which they are entitled.
“Eight million low income households will get at least £1,200 of direct payments this year, with a £150 top-up payment for disabled people.
“And we are also helping more disabled jobseekers to find, retain and progress in fulfilling work, offering specialist programmes such as Access To Work, paired with personal support from our Work Coaches and Disability Employment Advisers.”
Some eight million households will get the £650 boost.
The money will be paid in two lump sums, one from July and the other in the autumn.
People who claim tax credits will begin receiving the money in autumn.
Ministers have said that the one-off payment is worth some £5.4billion in total.
Individuals need to have been entitled to one of the qualifying benefits on May 25, 2022 to get the first payment.
The payment will be tax free and will not count towards the benefit cap.
Couples who have a joint claim will get just one payment between them.
For confidential support call the Samaritans in the UK on 116 123 or visit a local Samaritans branch.
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