Targeted measures for persons with disabilities to cope with the cost-of-living crisis

Study for the European Parliament’s Committee on Petitions (PETI)

EP cost of living for PWD


Magdi Birtha


Eszter Zólyomi, Sabina Gjylsheni, Felix Wohlgemuth


There are currently 100 million persons with disabilities in the European Union, representing 15% of the total population. In 2021, 29.7% of the EU population aged 16 or more with a disability (activity limitation) was at risk of poverty or social exclusion compared with 18.8% of those with no disability. Approximately 24% are at risk of energy poverty. The most recent crises (e.g. Covid-19 pandemic, rising inflation, energy crisis) had a disproportionate effect on the lives of persons with disabilities.


The study gives an overview of the existing applicable international legislation and of the legislation, policies and measures at EU level seeking to ensure an adequate standard of living for persons with disabilities. Among other aspects, it examines the availability of disaggregated data with regard to impact of the rising cost of living and energy crisis on persons with disabilities and assesses the additional costs that can arise from having a disability or from living in a household with a person with disabilities. Practices of national legislation, policies, and schemes that are made available to meet the extra needs of persons with disabilities are presented from a few selected EU Member States. 


The study is based on concrete quantitative and qualitative evidence from available data, studies and analysis from various sources.

The European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research supports the Sustainable Development Goals

European Centre Logo
UN SDG No Poverty
UN SDG Reduced Inequalities
UN SDG Partnerships for the Goals