PIP claimants lose ‘devastating’ £67 a MONTH as prices soar – ‘nothing left to cut back’

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Inflation is making life even harder for three million people who receive PIP, because like many other state benefits it is rising at a much slower pace than prices. Disability campaigners say they have been “inundated” with calls from PIP claimants who cannot cope financially due to the cost of living crisis.

Claimants have suffered a devastating real-terms drop in financial support and it will get worse as inflation climbs ever higher.

Millions now face a desperate choice between heating and eating this winter and must not be abandoned.

Personal Independence Payment is aimed at people who need help with daily activities or getting around because of a long-term illness or disability, and almost three million claim it.

There are two types of PIP. The daily living part for those who need help with everyday tasks, pays a lower rate of £61.85 a week and a higher rate of £92.40.

The mobility part, for those who need help getting around, pays either £24.45 or £64.50 a week. PIP is not means tested.

Almost three million people claim it, figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) show.

Like the State Pension, PIP rose by 3.1 percent in April 2022, based on last year’s September inflation figure.

However, in contrast to the State Pension, it does not benefit from the triple lock.

With inflation hitting a 40-year high of 10.1 percent in July its value is plummeting in real terms.

That trend will only intensify with the Bank of England now predicting inflation will hit 13.3 percent in October.

Those on low incomes, which will include many PIP claimants, actually experience a higher rate of inflation because essentials like food and fuel are rising fastest of all.

For them, the real rate of inflation is as high as 18 per cent, even more brutal than the official figures, according to the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).

Earlier this year, disability equality charity Scope warned the average claimant would lose £367 a year as a result of rising prices, based on the BoE’s prediction that inflation would hit 9.5 percent.

Their losses will be even higher as the Bank has since revised that figure upwards.

If it hits 13.3 percent in October and stays at around that level until April, when benefits are next due to be uprated, it would mean a huge real-terms cut in support.

The cut would average £48.75 per month for disabled people in receipt of PIP. For disabled people with the highest extra costs, that would rise to £67 per month.

Scope says these losses will dwarf September’s £150 payment for six million disabled Britons announced by former Chancellor Rishi Sunak in May.

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Overall, Scope has calculated a potential shortfall of £1billion in support for disabled people this year.

The total bill may now rise even higher.

Scope executive director James Taylor said as energy, fuel and food costs spiral, millions of disabled people have had a devastating real-terms drop in financial support.

This is causing huge anguish. “We have been inundated with calls from disabled people who have been cutting back for months and have nothing left to cut back.”

Taylor said that in the worst cost of living crisis in generations, the support from government for disabled people simply isn’t enough. “Every week we are seeing forecasts of increasingly harrowing inflation levels and energy bills.

“Life costs more when you’re disabled. Many disabled people have no choice but to use more energy to charge vital equipment and keep warm.”

Taylor added: “Disabled people need much more financial support. This cannot wait – the government must double the support package now.”

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