Cost of breathing crisis video transcript

A man in an electric wheelchair: For me, it’s not just a cost of living crisis, it’s a cost of moving crisis.

Woman speaking over the phone: For me, it’s a cost of getting up the stairs' crisis.

Woman in a wheelchair: It’s a cost of getting into bed crisis.

A man signing in British Sign Language: A cost of independence crisis.

A man using a speech synthesiser: A cost of speaking crisis.

A man using a CPAP machine: A cost of breathing crisis.

Scope helpline adviser: The cost of living crisis has hit disabled people the hardest. Scope is here to help.

Woman answers phone: Hello

Scope helpline adviser: Go to to get practical advice and support.

Scope is here to help

The cost of living crisis has hit disabled people the hardest. Our helpline answers calls every day from disabled people who are struggling to cope and are making life-changing decisions just to survive.

As our campaign says: “It’s not just a cost of living crisis. It’s a cost of breathing crisis.”

Scope is here to help.

If you or a loved one are disabled and facing extra costs, Scope has practical information and advice.

You can also share your experiences and talk to people in similar situations to you on our online community.

And our helpline team can help you with benefits, manage your energy bills and claim the financial support you’re entitled to.

Financial support

This section provides practical information about the financial support you may be entitled to.

Help with paying energy bills

Many disabled people face higher costs for their gas and electricity due to having essential equipment such as wheelchairs, hoists and ventilators that require energy. Disabled people may also need to use more heating to stay well and keep warm.

If you need help with your energy bills, the first step is to speak with your supplier. They have a duty to find ways to support you.

There are also a variety of schemes and grants that you might be eligible for. Check you’re getting all the benefits and cost of living payments you’re entitled to.

Our help with your energy bills webpage can help.

Help with benefits

The benefits system can feel confusing and overwhelming. Up to 7 million people in the UK are missing out on benefits they're entitled to. It’s worth finding out what financial support is available. If you have been turned down for a benefit claim, you might be able to appeal it.

Our benefits webpage can help.

Struggling with debt?

Many disabled people are struggling financially right now. If you are finding it tough, you are not alone. Talking about your situation can help. Expert support is available.

Our debt advice webpage can help.

Money-saving tips

We’ve put together some tips which could help you save some money. Choose the ones that work for you.

  • Energy-saving tips. There may be some small changes that you can make in your home to reduce how much energy you use.
  • Get help replacing broken cookers, fridges and washing machines through the Charis: Let’s Talk Energy Fund.
  • Get help with home adaptations. All local authorities have Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) schemes. These are for adaptations that cost over £1,000. See if you qualify.
  • Get help with the costs of work. The Access to Work Grant scheme can pay for specialist equipment and transport costs.
  • Get help from your local council. Until 31 March 2024, local councils have funding for emergency grants.
  • Get help with your Oxygen concentrator rebate. The company that supplies your oxygen concentrator can help you get a rebate for the electricity it uses.
  • Get help with water bills. The Water Sure scheme can help if you use lots of water because of your condition. For example, if you need to do lots of laundry or if you have at home dialysis.

Speak to Scope

Scope’s friendly helpline team offers free, practical and accessible advice.

We can help you manage your energy bills, access grants and claim the financial support you’re entitled to.

Phone: 0808 800 3333.


Textphone: dial 18001 then 0808 800 3333.

Calls are free from UK landlines and mobiles.

Opening times

We are experiencing high demand at the moment. You might get a quicker response if you call between 10am and 12pm.

Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm.

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 6pm.

Most bank holidays.