Costly differences

Living standards for working-age people with disabilities

The cost of living crisis has shone a harsh light on different groups’ ability to deal with fast- rising prices. In this briefing note, we focus on the living standards of people with disabilities, including results from a new survey of just under 8,000 working-age adults, over 2,000 of whom reported a long-term illness or disability, to offer insight into their experience of the current crisis.

We focus on people with disabilities for two good reasons. First, disability is on the rise in Britain. The share of the working-age population with a disability has risen from 17 to 23 per cent since 2013, a rise of over 2.6 million people. Second, people with disabilities are more vulnerable to rising costs of essentials because energy and food make up a greater share of their budgets, on average, than for the non-disabled, in part because of additional needs caused by underlying health problems.