UK charity, Contact a Family conducted a survey last week into the financial situations of working families with disabled children and found that 14% of respondents cannot afford to buy food on a daily basis. A further one in six families say they do not have the funds to heat their homes; something that can have a devastating impact on people during winter.
Based on the answers of 2,300 families, the report also found that 24 percent of people who are out of work because they are looking after their disabled children are in financial difficulty, and often go without eating on a regular basis.
The worrying statistics highlight the problems faced by families with disabled children, many of whom are unable to enjoy a good standard of life.
Further to the physical issues surrounding the finances of respondents, the study discovered that there is also added strain on families claiming benefits for their disabled children, caused by public stigma.
It is possible that these prejudices could plunge struggling families further into a state of worry and distress; especially when they are accused of being “work shy”, “lazy” or “cheating the system”.
Despite public opinion and negative media coverage, the government still insists that it is doing all it can to help individuals with disabilities. A spokeswoman for the Department of Work and Pensions said:
“This government is committed to supporting disabled people and continues to spend over forty billion pounds a year on disabled people and their services.”
According to this recently published survey, it seems nearly a quarter of families with disabled children are still not getting the support they need.
Contact a Family is now calling on the government to exempt these parents from cuts to financial support in order to prevent unnecessary hardships.
For more information on the report and Contact a Family visit www.cafamily.org.uk/
Written by Tim Baker