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Cost of living: Help for disabled people

Disabled people often have higher household energy bills than others, using electricity to not just heat homes but also to run equipment needed to remain well and independent.

Councillor Josh Blacker, Ealing Council’s cabinet member for healthy lives, said: “For those living with disabilities, household bills were already higher than most before the cost of living crisis. And, since the crisis, those bills have spiralled.

“We have a number of ways to help you and encourage those that are living with a disability or are a carer for someone with a disability, to claim everything you are entitled to.”

There is a wide range of financial support available to all residents, the details can be found on the council’s website, but below are details of support available for those living with disabilities.

Financial support

Some financial support is provided directly to eligible residents, such as the Disability cost of living payment– a lump sum payment of £150 which was paid directly to those who qualified in September 2022.

But you could be eligible for other financial support, including:

  • Benefits and help with bills – Check what support you are entitled to depending on your personal circumstances.
  • Local Welfare Assistance – Apply for Local Welfare Assistance if you need financial support towards essential items or to help towards energy bills
  • Help towards your council tax – Apply for a reduction in council tax if a person with a disability lives in your property and it has certain features (such as an extra bathroom or kitchen, or space for using a wheelchair) for the disabled person
  • Financial help from government if you’re disabled – The government offer a wide range of disability-related financial support, including benefits, tax credits, payments, grants and concessions
  • Attendance Allowance – Provides help with extra costs if you have a disability severe enough that you need someone to help look after you.

If you would like to speak to someone about benefit entitlements and financial assessments, the community benefits team provides general advice.

Energy efficiency

Make sure your home is as energy efficient as it can be. Healthy Homes Ealing is a free service available to all residents that provides advice on how to make your home more energy efficient and what grants might be available to you.

Sometimes a small job to make your home more energy efficient, like fitting draft excluders to doors or windows, can be hard to achieve with a disability. The handyperson service arranges minor jobs to be carried out in the home for disabled people.

If you have a disability or rely on your energy supply for medical reasons, sign up for the Priority Services Register with your utility company to get on their list of priority customers. You may also be entitled to a free annual gas safety check.

Local support

For local support from community and voluntary sector groups, check out the community support directory – for information, advice and guidance. And if you are living with a learning or other disability, Ealing Mencap provides support to local people to live as independently as possible.

Ealing Community Transport provides free and low cost community transport service, supporting residents who find it difficult to use public transport to make journeys around the borough. The London Taxicard Scheme also provides subsidised transport in taxis and private hire vehicles (minicabs) for people with serious mobility or visual impairments, who find it very difficult or impossible to use mainstream public transport. 

Warm spaces are in place across the borough, run by local voluntary, community and faith groups. These are places you can find a warm welcome – somewhere safe to find advice, company and escape the cold.

The council has also set up four community hubs in the borough, which offer vital information and advice to residents finding it difficult to access the support they need. 

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