Government to examine disabled parents’ finance

The government is set to look at ways to address the financial
difficulties faced by disabled parents, delegates heard last week,
writes Amy Taylor

Lord Geoffrey Filkin, parliamentary under-secretary Department
for Education and Skills, told a conference on disabled children
that the issue was “firmly on the agenda for

A delegate told Filkin that some older parents of disabled
children faced debts of £40,000 and were having to go back
into work.

Filkin said the government were “very aware” of the
need to stop such levels of debt being accumulated by young
disabled families.

A coalition of disability and children’s charities,
including Mencap and NCH, called for the government to give
families more help to care for their disabled children at home by
improving the grant for housing adaptations earlier this month.

The coalition, who say they have been prompted by stories of
desperate families from across the country, want an abolition of
the means test for families applying for the Disabled Facilities
Grant (DFG).

They argue that the test is forcing many parents to choose
between going into debt or not making the necessary changes to
their homes.

The coalition made the comments in a submission to a review
group set up by the government to look at the DFG process. This
will report to ministers in May 2005.

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