A shocking new study by the Social Metrics Commission (SMC) has revealed that 6.9 million people living in poverty – 48.3% in total – live in families with a disabled person.

The study takes into account a number of figures for the first time, factoring in incomes and inescapable costs, such as rent, childcare, and the additional costs that come with living with a disability.

With these factors included, the report shows that disabled people are more likely to live in poverty, with a staggering 14.2 million people in the UK living in poverty, with persistent poverty – that which has lasted two year of the previous three years – highest in families where someone is disabled.

Disability Rights UK responded to the survey on their website, saying: “The existing evidence demonstrates that disabled people face extra costs to do the same things as those without a disability. This means that they incur inescapable (and highly differentiated) costs that reduce their available resources. It is also likely that these extra costs are, at least in part, responsible for the fact that measures of material deprivation are much higher for disabled families than for non-disabled families with the same level of income.

“In recognition of these extra costs, many disabled families are in receipt of extra-cost disability benefits like Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and/or Attendance Allowance (AA). These benefits are typically included in measures of net incomes … without an offsetting recognition of the increased costs of disabled families that these payments exist to help with. This results in many disabled families incorrectly appearing to have resources sufficient to lift them above the poverty line.”

Image: Flickr/ptwo


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