Families with disabled children have benefits reduced and withdrawn

The reduction and withdrawal of key benefits for families with
disabled children by ill-informed officials is causing high levels
of stress, new research warns today, writes Amy

The study, carried out by the Child Poverty Action Group, also
calls for an increase in basic incomes for such families.

Problems highlighted include families not having enough information
about what they are entitled to and the lack of knowledge of some
officials who decide to down rate or remove benefits.

Families with disabled children are susceptible to poverty because
low income is compounded by high costs.

“Whereas the government does recognise that disability is
both a cause and a consequence of poverty, and it has introduced a
number of significant improvements, additional financial support is
not getting to the families who need it most,” said Kate
Green, chief executive of the Child Poverty Action Group.

Meanwhile, the government has delayed its decision on whether to
abolish the disabled facilities grant means test for families with
disabled children.

A coalition of disability and children’s charities, including
Mencap and NCH, had expected a decision before Parliament went into
recess for the summer but now ministers say that an announcement
will be made in the autumn at the earliest.

The disabled facilities grant contributes towards housing
adaptations for disabled people. Its means test for children has
been abolished in Wales and Northern Ireland.

Child Poverty Action Group report Helter Skelter: Families,
disabled children and the benefit system
from: 020 7837


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