The Hidden Cost of Living Crisis for Disabled People
Recent YouGov polling showed 37% of adults in Scotland are in households where someone is living with a disability or long-term health condition. Of adults in these households 31% - 527,977 people - need to keep their homes at a certain temperature, while 8% - 136,252 people - must run medical equipment and therefore incur higher costs. A further 15% - 255,472 people - cook specific meals and face higher costs due to this. When aligned with our supported employment service, Welfare Rights is hugely effective. Financial strain has a huge impact on wellbeing. By removing this barrier, it helps people engage with us. Our support instils hope, information, and control.
Despite available funds, disabled people are often unaware / unsure if they qualify or don’t know how to apply and need support to navigate the processes. They can also feel ashamed and hesitant about asking for help unless it’s offered. This is isolating and can impact on their wellbeing.
We offer Cost-of-Living Workshops in an accessible community venue or online if prefered. 12 sessions x 12 months for up to 20 participants per session =240 disabled people / families can access this service. Workshops include budgeting, expenses, debt, basic energy saving e.g., draft proofing/energy usage. We signpost people to Home Energy Scotland for specialist advice on energy saving, keeping warm, renewable energy, green travel, fuel poverty, and water waste reduction.
We also target disabled parents to help reduce child poverty and we have recently partnered with the Fuel Bank Foundation to offer service users in severe crisis a £49 fuel voucher. With a maximum of 3 per 6-months provided.