‘I’m scared’: Disabled woman can’t afford to eat or take hot showers as bills soar | United Kingdom | News

For Anne, who suffers from a neurological condition that leaves her dependent on a wheelchair, simply getting through the day is a struggle as she has no money left.

It’s not just the impossible choice between “heat and eat” for the 51-year-old: she’s now terrified of taking a shower because it’s too expensive.

Research by the charity Scope shows that the 14 million disabled people in the UK already face additional costs of £583 a month from higher energy bills and expensive equipment.

Anne, who lives in Nottinghamshire with her husband, has seen her bills skyrocket in recent months. She has no choice but to pay exorbitant energy prices, as she relies on five computers, all of which must be plugged in and charged.

Having cut spending everywhere else, Anne told the Daily Express that she often goes without food at mealtimes because she prioritizes her energy needs.

She said: “Sometimes when my husband asks me what I’m having for dinner, I’m like, ‘Oh, I’ll do it later,’ but I don’t. And now I only have six stones. And he scares me the hell out of taking a shower because every time I do, I see it’s pounds not pennies coming out.

“Some people can take a quick three-minute shower, while I can’t shower on my own and the process will take at least 20 minutes.”

With no other options, Anne said she has resorted to paying for her grocery store by dividing it into three installments. And she has started selling her possessions on eBay in an attempt to bridge the gap.

The reality is that more than half a million disabled people already live on just £10 a week after bills, according to UK charity Leonard Cheshire.

Disability charities are uniting to call on the next Prime Minister to ensure that the country’s most vulnerable are at the heart of plans to tackle the cost of living nightmare.

In May, former Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced his support, but some people, like Anne, who receive benefits, do not receive the £650 lump-sum cost-of-living payment.

Scope estimates that a minimum of 400,000 disabled people receive a contribution-based employment and support allowance, so they will not be eligible for the £650 increase.

The Daily Express’ crusade to end the disability bill crisis continues to fight for more financial support to help hard-hit families get through a worsening situation.

We are now asking the Government to introduce a discounted rate for disabled people with the highest energy consumption.

And for the £150 cost of living payment for disabled people to be brought forward and doubled, so £150 now and £150 in November. Anne said that she has little energy left to fight herself.

And she is “terrified for the future” as bills will rise and inflation is expected to top 10 percent by the end of the year.

Last week, 50 disability charities, including Sense, wrote to the two remaining candidates in the race to become the next Prime Minister, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, asking them to ensure disabled people “are in the center of any plan to do as a leader to address the cost-of-living crisis.”

Sense Chief Executive Richard Kramer said: “Everyone is affected by rising prices, but disabled households are one of the hardest hit due to their circumstances. Disabled people and their carers need long-term financial support.”

A government spokesman said: “We urge people to check that they are receiving all the help to which they are entitled.”

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