Cost of living payments are insufficient and should be paid to more people, MPs are warning.

The cross-party Work and Pensions Committee called for the Government to consider widening the eligibility criteria for future payments.

Its report said: “We are particularly concerned that the additional support offered to those with disabilities was only £150 per year and we recommend that this particular support be increased in proportion to the costs that people with disabilities incur.”

The recommendations follow an inquiry examining the package of support introduced to protect people claiming benefits from the effects of rising energy prices and inflation.

After receiving nearly 2,000 survey responses from those with first-hand experience of cost-of-living payments, the committee said it acknowledges the important impact the payments have made and the speed of distribution.

But it said the unsophisticated nature of the payments system has placed significant limitations on how it has met the needs of different groups, such as families, older people and those with disabilities.

Any future cost-of-living support payments should take account of family size, while financial support for those with disabilities should be increased in proportion to the additional costs that they incur, the report argued.

It also suggested that the Government consider uprating universal credit, instead of issuing payments.

The report said: “Given we have also heard that an uplift of the regular benefits received would be more beneficial for budgeting than ad-hoc cost-of-living support payments, the Government should consider uprating universal credit instead of issuing these payments.

“It should maintain the ad-hoc payment system for those on legacy benefits as these benefits cannot be so easily uprated.”

Sir Stephen Timms, chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, said: “While the support payments have made an important impact in helping those most in need during these difficult times, the overall package has offered just a short-term reprieve for many, while others have slipped through the safety net altogether.

“Families with children need support over and above the flat rate on offer while the extra £150 a year paid to those with disabilities, who incur unavoidable extra expenses, barely touches the sides.

“There are also low-income households receiving only housing benefit currently deemed ineligible for the extra help, while some eligible people with no recourse to public funds are being denied access to the household support fund because of unclear guidance to councils.

“It is vital that the Government listens to those with everyday experience of support payments so it learns important lessons should a new package of support be required in the future. Ministers should get ahead of the game by bringing forward their evaluation of the measures and at the same time give serious thought to changes to the wider benefit system that would make ad-hoc payments less necessary.”

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson said: “The cost-of-living payments have provided a significant financial boost to millions of households – just one part of the record £94 billion support package we have provided to help with the rising cost of bills.

“This includes a 10.1% rise to benefits earlier this year, and we’re investing £3.5 billion to help thousands into jobs – the best way to secure their financial security in the long-term.

“Ultimately, the best way we can help families is to reduce inflation, and we’re sticking to our plan to halve it this year, taking the long-term decisions that will secure the country’s financial future.”

Louise Rubin, head of policy at disability equality charity Scope, said: “We back the committee’s call that there needs to be more cost-of-living support for disabled people this winter.

“We’re hearing from disabled people who can’t afford to power vital equipment, face excruciating bills and don’t know which way to turn.”