40,000 to get disability benefit

Around 40,000 people on disability benefits in Sunderland are set to receive £150 from this week, as part of a package to help with the cost-living-crisis.

Disability benefit figures.
Disability benefit figures.

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 13,800 people in the Sunderland Central parliamentary constituency, 13,500 in Houghton and Washington and 12,700 in Washington and Sunderland West 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.

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Those who already receive a qualifying disability benefit will be paid automatically.

This week’s cash is separate to the £650 cost-of-living payment, the first instalment of which landed over the summer.

There were 17,200 people eligible for that payment in Sunderland Central, 14,900 in Hoiughton and Washington and 14,900 in Washington and Sunderland West.

Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, described the scheme as "providing vital support to shield the most vulnerable".

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The payments are in addition to the plan to freeze energy bills at £2,500 for the next two years.

Disability charity Scope warned the £150 payment "won't touch the sides" for many living with health issues.

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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 and warned the soaring cost of energy could have a "devastating impact" on the health of people with disabilities.