A government report has revealed that low-income people who are reliant on disability benefits are struggling to meet essential living costs.

The government-commissioned research was released after MPs demanded its publication.

It had been kept under wraps for over a year by the Work and Pensions secretary Theresa Coffey.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) reported that there are around 185,000 people receiving a DLA (disability living allowance) in the Northwest.

Stephen Timms, the chair of the Work and Pensions Committee told The Guardian: “While the system is working for some, we now know that others reported that they are still unable to meet essential living costs such as food and utility bills.”

The report says that while disability benefits provide some reliable income, reassessments can change and even reduce individual payments.

Age UK confirmed that in April 2021, the highest weekly rate for a person on disability benefits was £89.60.

Personal Independence Payments (PIP) are replacing DLA for eligible working people aged 16 to 64 meaning people could now be receiving two benefits at once depending on their individual circumstances.

A DWP spokesperson told Merseynewslive: “We’re providing extensive support to millions of disabled people and those with a health condition to help them live independent lives.

“As the research shows, health and disability benefits, alongside other income streams, helped to meet almost all identified areas of additional need.”

They added: “Personal Independence Payments are available to help with extra living costs, while people may also be entitled to additional financial support through Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance.”

For advice please visit: https://www.gov.uk/disability-benefits-helpline

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