Extra Costs

Life costs more if you're disabled. From higher energy bills and costly insurance premiums to expensive equipment and adaptive clothing, disabled people pay over the odds for the essentials they need to live their lives.

The Disability Price Tag

Our new research reveals the extra costs faced by disabled people.

Disability Price Tag policy report (PDF, 368KB)

Disability Price Tag technical report (PDF, 281KB)

Key findings of the report:

  • Disabled people spend an average of £570 a month on things related to their impairment or condition. This is on top of welfare payments which are meant to cover these costs.
  • 1 in 5 disabled people face extra costs of more than £1,000 a month.
  • After housing costs, disabled people spend 49% of their income on disability-related costs.

Campaigning to tackle the financial penalty of disability

We’re calling on Government, businesses and regulators to tackle the extra costs faced by disabled people.

We need action to:

  • Improve support for disabled people to help meet extra costs.
  • Drive down extra costs.

Higher energy bills for disabled people

Disabled people often face higher costs for their gas and electricity. Many disabled people say they need more heating to stay warm, whilst others say they have to use additional electricity to charge up items of assistive technology.

Our Out in the Cold report looks at the challenges disabled people face in the energy market.

Out in the Cold report (PDF, 418KB)

Key findings of the report:

  • Over a third of disabled adults say that their impairment or condition has a significant impact on their energy costs.
  • Over half (55%) of disabled adults have worried about paying their energy bills.
  • 4.1 million households with a disabled person spend over £1,500 a year on energy. Of these, 790,000 spend over £2,500 a year on energy. The average UK household spends around £1,200 a year.
  • More than 900,000 households with a disabled person in England are living in fuel poverty (defined as having above-average fuel costs which would push them below the poverty line).

Campaigning to reduce energy costs for disabled people

We’re calling on the Government, energy suppliers and the market regulator Ofgem to help bring down energy costs for disabled people.

We need action to:

  • Improve support for disabled people with their energy bills.
  • Support disabled people to get the best deal on their energy.
  • Improve data sharing between Government and energy suppliers, to help bring down energy costs for disabled people.

Insurance costs for disabled people

Insurance protects us financially when the unexpected happens.

Scope's research shows that many disabled people struggle to access affordable insurance.

Improving access to insurance for disabled people report (PDF, 265KB)

Key findings of the report:

  • 26% of disabled adults feel they have been charged more for insurance or denied cover altogether because of their impairment or condition.
  • 35% of disabled adults have worried about paying their insurance premiums.
  • Disabled people find travel insurance especially hard to get.

Campaigning to improve access to insurance for disabled people

We want:

  • Insurers to review the information they use to price insurance for disabled people, and to support people who can't find affordable cover
  • The Financial Conduct Authority to investigate whether insurance for disabled people is being priced fairly
  • The Government to address the challenges faced by disabled people in getting affordable insurance, if the Financial Conduct Authority thinks current prices are fair.

Extra Costs Commission

The Extra Costs Commission was a year-long independent inquiry set up by Scope to explore the extra costs faced by disabled people and their families.

The Commission had two key aims:

  1. Promote better understanding of the key social and market drivers of extra costs. 
  2. Develop recommendations on how to drive down these extra costs for business, government, regulators, disability organisations, disabled people and their families.

The Extra Costs Commission produced a number of reports:

Progress review (PDF, 2.13MB )

Interim report (PDF, 1.75MB)

Extra Costs Commission final report (PDF, 1.78MB)

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