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Soaring numbers of families with disabled children are being forced to go without food or heating because they can no longer afford the basics, a major study shows.

Changes to benefits and the rising cost of living are forcing many of the country's most vulnerable families to cut back on essentials, according to research from Contact A Family. The situation is having a direct impact on their health in what campaigners dubbed "a national scandal".

Overall, 83 per cent of parents with disabled children say the family is now having to go without. Of these, almost a quarter say their child's health has worsened as a result, and more than two thirds suffered ill health themselves.

Welfare reform has come at a time when rising food and energy bills have pushed the finances of many families to the limit. For those with disabled children it is even more difficult because they often have extensive extra living costs, such as the need for warmer houses or heavier reliance on cars.

One third of families with disabled children are worse off as a result of benefit changes – nearly half by more than £1,500 a year, the report warns. Changes to tax credits, a reduction in help with council tax and the "bedroom tax" were the commonest problems reported.

Read the full story in the Independent.


+1 #3 Jim Allison 2014-11-25 18:44
It is an absolute disgrace that anyone on benefits should have to chose whether to 'eat' or to 'heat'. However, it's not just not those of working age claiming UC.

Many pensioners who only receive State Retirement Pension, because they have no Occupational Pension also have to choose whether to 'eat' or 'heat'.

Thankfully, I am not in this position, as in addition to State Pension
I receive a local government pension, and my wife, a retired nurse receives full state pension plus her NHS pension.
+3 #2 shimtoan 2014-11-25 04:15
£1,500 p/a is roughly £30p/w which is a considerable amount of money when you've got next to nothing, something our current cabinet has no experience of
+3 #1 buster 2014-11-24 23:12
Now this really is a national scandal! When Universal Credit (UC) is rolled out nationally (I know - please don't laugh too hard) up to 100,000 families with disabled children will have their child disability element payments halved from £57 a week under Tax Credits, to just £28 a week under UC. Families with one disabled child will lose around £1,500.00 per year. Therefore, families where there are two disabled children will be a massive £3,000.00 per year worse off. And to think, this policy is being precided over by a Prime Minister who was fortunate enough to claim child disability benefits when his family "needed" them. it would seem that he does not want others to be able to access the same support. Absolutely scandalous!

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