Life costs more for disabled people and their families. Spending more on essential goods and services like; heating, insurance, equipment and therapies. These extra costs mean disabled people have less money in their pocket than non-disabled people, or simply go without.
Therefore, disabled people are likely to have a lower standard of living, even when they earn the same.
The Disability Price Tag
Our updated research for 2019 reveals the extra costs faced by disabled people and families with disabled children.
Disability Price Tag policy report 2019 (PDF, 1.95MB)
Disability Price Tag technical report 2019 (PDF, 590KB)
Key findings for disabled people:
- On average disabled people face extra costs of £583 a month
- On average, a disabled person’s extra costs are equivalent to almost half of their income (not including housing costs)
- 1 in 5 disabled people face extra costs of more than £1,000 a month
- Disabled people’s money doesn’t tend to go as far. On average, £100 for a non-disabled person is equivalent to just £68 for a disabled person.
Key findings for families with disabled children:
- On average families with disabled children face extra costs of £581 a month
- For almost a quarter (24%) of families with disabled children, extra costs amount to over £1,000 a month.
Campaigning to tackle the financial penalty of disability
We’re calling on Government to tackle the extra costs faced by disabled people and their families. We need action in four areas:
Universal Credit (UC)
- Use the trial of ‘managed migration’ to ensure disabled people don’t lose access to financial support as they move to UC
- Work with disabled people and disability organisations to develop new components within UC to offset loss of support
- Work with families and disability organisations to ensure disabled children receive support to help meet extra costs.
Personal Independence Payments (PIP)
- Reform the PIP assessment to accurately capture extra costs faced by disabled people.
Warm Home Discount
- Reform core eligibility criteria so that support can be more effectively targeted at disabled people.
Early Intervention and Family Resilience fund
- Set up an Early Intervention and Family Resilience Fund. Investing in emotional support for the whole family at the point of diagnosis.
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
- 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:
- Promote better understanding of the key social and market drivers of extra costs.
- 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)
Advice and support
Scope provides advice and support for disabled people and their families.
Online advice and support for disabled people
Online information for families with disabled children
Navigate - emotional support for parents of disabled children