New data shows that 44% of disabled households have gone without essentials such as food and toiletries because of the benefits freeze, introduced in 2016, Citizens Advice claimed yesterday.

According to the charity, things are even worse for universal credit claimants, with 55% having gone without essentials such as food and 51% saying they have lost sleep because of financial worries.

The data also shows that 27% of people claiming benefits say financial worries have made them feel lonely or isolated. Some 29% say financial worries have affected their mental health.

Citizens Advice is calling on the government to:

End the freeze on benefit rates.

Uprate payments by the Consumer Prices Index plus 2% for four years.

Recalculate the Local Housing Allowance to at least the 30th percentile of local rents and re-establish the link with rental prices.

Reduce the five-week wait by bringing forward the first non-repayable payment to no later than two weeks into a Universal Credit claim.

There are more details on the Citizens Advice website


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