The ALLIANCE research has warned of widespread concerns amongst disabled people.
A new report by a leading third sector health group has called for additional emergency payments of up to £800 to support those most at risk, whilst addressing root causes of inequality.
The ALLIANCE has published a report, ‘Disabled People, Unpaid Carers and the Cost of Living Crisis: Impacts, Responses and Long Term Solutions’, looking at the impact of the cost of living crisis in Scotland.
Through engagement alongside Disability Equality Scotland with disabled people, people living with long term conditions, and unpaid carers via polls and events, the report highlights some of the difficulties arising from sharply increasing costs.
There is widespread concern amongst disabled people about being able to afford the energy required to power and charge essential assistive technologies, whilst some people report cutting back on food, lighting and showers.
It is clear that cost of living interventions to date have not gone far enough to support the most at risk sections of our society through the coming winter.
In addition the current crisis simply builds on and exacerbates existing inequalities, emphasising the need to take longer term action to address root causes and prevent similar crises recurring in the future.
The report recommends that emergency cost of living payments should be a priority for the Scottish Government, with £400 lump sum payments to anyone receiving disability payments, and to anyone receiving either Winter Heating Payment or Carer’s Allowance. This is costed at approximately £372 million.
The ALLIANCE also said the UK Government should uprate reserved social security payments in line with inflation.
Both Governments also need to take actions to address the root causes of the crisis by investing in renewable energy, energy efficiency and poverty reduction measures, and funding these from additional windfall taxes, the group said.
The ALLIANCE added that, in the longer term, the approach to budgeting and the economy should put wellbeing and human rights at the centre, not GDP and profit.
Sara Redmond, chief officer of the ALLIANCE, said: "Our cost of living report highlights the very real crisis facing disabled people, people living with long term conditions, and unpaid carers in this coming winter.
“Both governments must take immediate action to support people with further emergency payments, whilst working in the longer term to address the root causes of the crisis."