Disabled people are 4 times worse off financially than non-disabled people, according to new research commissioned by the Disability Benefit Consortium (DBC).
The study found that while people who receive welfare support have experienced cuts averaging £300, disabled people are typically £1,200 out of pocket annually.
The research was the first study looking specifically at the impact of welfare changes on disabled people over the last 10 years, and found:
- The more disabilities you have the more you lose out. Someone who has 6 or more disabilities loses more than £2,100 each year on average, whereas someone with one disability loses around £700 each year.
- Households with one disabled adult and one disabled child lose out the most, with average losses of more than £4,300 every yearThe study forms the basis of the report ‘‘Has welfare become unfair – the impact of changes on disabled people”.
The report was put together by the DBC, a coalition of more than 80 UK disability organisations, including Epilepsy Action.
As part of the research, 50 people living with a variety of conditions and disabilities were interviewed about their experiences. Respondents said that they found the application and assessment processes highly stressful, and that they did not feel trusted. They also said that they felt constantly challenged throughout the process.
The DBC states that the current system has become overly complex and dysfunctional. The consortium said that many disabled people have found it has had a devastating impact on their wider health and wellbeing.
The consortium is calling on the Government to make urgent improvements to the welfare system to ensure it works for everyone.