The information on this page was last checked on: 25th Jan 2024

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If you open a newspaper, turn on the TV or the radio or browse social media, you will see that the cost of food, gas, electricity, petrol and more are increasing. 

Scope reported in their 'Disability Price Tag 2023':

  • On average, disabled households (with at least one disabled adult or child) need an additional £975 a month to have the same standard of living as non-disabled households.
  • If this figure is updated to account for inflation over the current period 2022/2023, these extra costs rise to £1,122 per month.
  • On average, the extra cost of disability is equivalent to 63% of household income after housing costs.
  • The average extra costs rise to £1,248 per month where there are two disabled adults in the household and at least two children. And for households with one disabled adult, one non-disabled adult and at least one child, the average extra cost is £634.

We may need to keep our homes warmer, run the washing machine more often, pay for care/support or run a car. Some of these costs cannot be avoided for many Deaf and Disabled people and these costs are going up. Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – which is intended to help cover extra living costs for Disabled people and those with long-term health conditions – is currently split into daily living and mobility payments, and can be as little as £26.90 per week, going up to £172.75 per week for those who qualify for the enhanced rates for both types. This means that even those with the maximum amount of PIP, do not come close to the extra money needed to live. 


Social policy work and campaigning  

We are keen to hear your experiences. Please get in to touch to share your stories. This will help with Merton CIL’s policy and campaigns work to improve financial support for Deaf and Disabled people with London-wide and national partners.

We want to see targeted support for Disabled people throughout the cost of living crisis. We have written to local MPs Siobhain McDonagh and Stephen Hammond asking for their support. You can write to them too find out more here 


How Merton CIL can help  

If you are having problems with anything around money, whether it is difficulty paying for food and your bills, dealing debts or getting benefits, the most important thing to do is get help.  

If you are facing difficulties, please contact Merton CIL for information and advice. We can help with: 

  • Support to apply for benefits  

  • Support with benefits appeal if you award has been reduced following a review  

  • Support you to apply for grants to help with energy and other unexpected costs 

  • Support to review the cost of your social care contributions if you feel you are paying too much 

  • Provide you with foodbank vouchers 

  • Refer you to other support available in Merton. 

You can find out more here 


Other Useful Information  

Inclusion London – Cost of Living Resources  

Mayor of London – Cost of Living Resources  


Organisations that may be able to help  

Financial Assistance 

Apply for a grant to help with food, warm clothing, utility bills, essential furniture and/or household appliances 


They will support with:

- Rent/mortgage arrears
- Benefits checks (limited service)
- Discretionary Housing Payment applications
- Grant applications
- Warm Home Discounts
- Water Discount forms
- Chasing benefit claims
- Applications for Universal Credit, Council Tax Support, Council Tax Reduction, carer’s allowance
- Advice on debt options
- Income maximisation
- Reducing household bills
- Help with disability benefits and Universal Credit Limited Capability for Work


They also have free money advice webinars that you can attend. Find out more here 

SWLLC have created an income maximisation booklet which you can access here


The LWSS exists to support Merton residents with short term severe financial difficulties. 


Government Support  


One-off payments 

This year (2023-24), you may also be entitled to one or more lump-sum payments. These are: 

  • £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment for those receiving disability benefits, such as Personal Independence Payment. This was paid if you received a qualifying benefit on 1st April 2023.
  • £900 Cost of Living Payment for households on means-tested benefits, such as Universal Credit. You'll be paid in three instalments if eligible.  
  • £150-£300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment for households that receive the Winter Fuel Payment. This is a top-up to your Winter Fuel Payment in November 2023. 

Visit the Government website for more information. None of these payments are taxable and they won't count towards the benefit cap or affect your benefit entitlement. 


Energy support  

Provide a winter warmth home visiting programme aimed at saving you money on your energy bills.

South London Healthy Homes is a programme run by Charlton Athletic Community Trust, Lewisham Council, Groundwork, Thinking Works and South East London Community Energy (SELCE), with support from the Mayor of London. The free service is accessible across 13 London boroughs, to help vulnerable residents stay warm and healthy. 


Food support  

If you need support with paying for bills or shopping, Merton Community Hub can provide a free foodbank voucher or an emergency food parcel. 


Redistributes surplus fresh food to those in need. If you would like to receive a free food parcel for yourself or someone else and help reduce food waste, please visit Morden Baptist Church, Crown Lane, Morden SM4 5BL

Mondays (16.30 - 17.30), Wednesdays (16.30 - 17.30) and Thursdays (13.30 - 14.30)


Emergency food support for Merton residents, with foodbanks located in Wimbledon, Mitcham, Morden and Pollards Hill. A voucher is required. Locations and opening times are listed online. Email 


Provides emergency food parcels to households as well as bulk food deliveries to other food support organisations. Call 0203 301 4511 or email 


Supports parents with children under 5yrs old with provision of items like milk formula, wipes, nappies and toiletries. 


HAF clubs will be running in all school holidays. The clubs offer activities and nutritious meals for Merton primary and secondary school aged children. These activities are free for children and young people who are eligible for free school meals and for those referred by specialist services. 


Warm Spaces in Merton 

If you are worried about your heating bills or just want to go somewhere else to keep warm, Merton’s 7 libraries and other community organisations have been established as warm spaces. There is also a range of support available including information on services like debt advice, help with benefits, energy saving, and assistance getting online if you’re not a computer whizz. You can find out more about the libraries and other warm spaces in Merton here.


Free online carbon monoxide risk awareness workshops

With fuel poverty on the rise, the risk of vulnerable people using unsafe heating practices will increase.  If you would like to know more about the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, its signs and symptoms alongside what to do to help prevent it and information about the new laws regarding CO detectors then sign up to a free short workshop from the Gas Safe Charity