A woman has revealed that she’s been using her cat as a furry heater to fight the cost-of-living crisis.
Sharon Hearn told the BBC that she’s resorted to stuffing her cat Toby down her jumper when she doesn't have the heating on to keep each other warm.
"I normally have two jumpers on, two socks on. I'm very lucky to have a cat,” she said, adding she also has to have three or four blankets on as well.
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Sharon, a registered disabled person who lives in Newtown near the Welsh-English border, is a part-time wheelchair user due to a spinal cord damage, arthritis and a brain injury.
She says she can’t afford to heat her home for more than two hours a day.
Even then, she only heats her home up to a maximum temperature of 12C.
While her council house has a heat pump that takes warmth from the air outside to heat her home, it costs £8 a day to run which she says she cannot afford.
Sharon says she’s been forced to get creative to keep warm because the government has told her she can no longer claim a Warm Homes Discount despite the fact the cold severely limits her mobility.
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The Warm Homes Discount forces energy providers to give rebates to eligible low-income and vulnerable households, according to the government’s website.
The government changed the way that households can claim the discount, making it so that only those receiving means-tested benefits can receive the £150 discount.
Disabled people who only claim personal independence payments, disability allowance or attendance allowance are now not able to claim the discount.
While the government says its changes allow an additional 750,000 people to claim the discount, Scope, a charity that aims to help disabled people in England and Wales, says it also prevents roughly 300,000 disabled people from claiming it in the future.
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