Benefits for families with disabled children must increase, says charity Contact a Family, after it found 16% had gone without food and heating in the past year.
The impact of rising food, fuel and utility bills was highlighted by the charity’s poll of almost 800 parents of disabled children, which took place from May to July. A quarter of families have taken out loans in the past year, and nearly half have borrowed money from friends and family.
More than one-third of families have fallen behind with credit card or loan repayments, while 18% have not kept up mortgage or rent payments.
The findings “paint a shocking picture of what these families are experiencing”, according to Srabani Sen, chief executive of Contact a Family.
“It costs three times as much to raise a disabled child andthis is putting incredible pressure on these families just to survive in the worsening economic climate.” The government increasing disability benefits was the only solution “to ensure these families don’t face homelessness”, she added.
• Report from www.cafamily.org.uk