Four in ten disabled children live in poverty


Four in ten disabled children in the UK live in poverty, 'a staggering 320,000' children, according to a report by the Children's Society.

 

The charity is urging the Government to re-think plans for welfare reforms to be introduced under the Universal Credit in 2013, which they claim would lead to 100,000 disabled children losing up to £27 a week in benefits.

Researchers analysed the most recent Government figures to find out the proportion of disabled children living in poverty, but also took into account the extra costs faced by families with disabled children.

These include transport costs, higher heating bills, adaptations to the home and the cost of childcare, which is typically more expensive for disabled children.

The report says that this analysis found that the number of households with disabled children living in poverty is higher than previously estimated by the Government.

It shows that where there is also a disabled adult living in the household, around half of disabled children are living in poverty.

Fourteen per cent of disabled children live in severe poverty, defined as living in households on less than 30 per cent of median income after housing costs are accounted for.

A petition launched by the organisation with 30 other national charities calling for the Government to re-think its reforms has been signed by 5,000 people so far.

Bob Reitemeier, chief executive of The Children’s Society, said, ‘These findings are staggering and very worrying. It seems that all forms of support for disabled children are seriously hampered when families live on a low income. Hidden costs, such as transport, heating and learning aids are forcing more disabled children and young people and their families into poverty.

‘It is essential that the Government does not cut rates of support for disabled children under the Universal Credit. We believe that this cut in support can only lead to more disabled children being pushed into poverty and are urging the government to review it.’

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