Help stop government changes to welfare penalising disabled children

New welfare reform proposals will result in many disabled children facing a cut of up to £1,400 per year (£27 per week) compared to their current welfare entitlements.

By Sam Royston, Policy Adviser the Children’s society

A coalition of 30 national organisations and charities, led by The Children’s Society, are calling on the Government to reverse their planned cut to support for disabled children under the new Universal Credit.  

The organisations have identified that new welfare reform proposals will result in many disabled children facing a cut of up to £1,400 per year (£27 per week) compared to their current welfare entitlements. By the time a disabled child reaches 16, this could cost the family £22,000.

Raising a disabled child is extremely expensive. The range of costs can include higher travel costs, increased fuel bills, extra childcare and loss of income due to hospital appointments.

The government estimates that 100,000 disabled children will be hit by this change.

The £27 lost per disabled child a week (which could double or triple if there are two or three disabled children in a family) is more than half the average family’s food budget. This can make the difference between a family coping or falling below the breadline. This shift will force families into poverty.

So why is the government making this change? It claims that the measures are being introduced in order to align child and adult rates of disability support.

But the group of adults with whom support is aligned are at some point likely to be able to move back into work.  Children cannot work to raise extra money to increase their income, so have no way to escape poverty. It must be recognised that disabled children face additional barriers to escaping poverty and therefore require extra support.

It is absolutely crucial for people to join us in petitioning the government to understand the significance of this change for disabled children and their families. For many low income families already living on the breadline, this will make the difference between meeting their children’s basic needs and finding themselves unable to cope.

Click here for more information and to see the list of organisations that have signed up.

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77 Responses to “Help stop government changes to welfare penalising disabled children”

  1. Children's Society

    We & a coalition of 30 organisations are calling on the Gov to reverse planned cut to support for disabled children http://t.co/SzOQ3gf

  2. Natasha Leahy

    We & a coalition of 30 organisations are calling on the Gov to reverse planned cut to support for disabled children http://t.co/SzOQ3gf

  3. TheMiniCookingClub

    We & a coalition of 30 organisations are calling on the Gov to reverse planned cut to support for disabled children http://t.co/SzOQ3gf

  4. Nigel Varndell

    We & a coalition of 30 organisations are calling on the Gov to reverse planned cut to support for disabled children http://t.co/SzOQ3gf

  5. False Economy

    RT @leftfootfwd: Help stop government changes to welfare penalising disabled children: http://t.co/pGPTol6 @childrensociety's @raficooper

  6. freiahill

    RT @leftfootfwd: Help stop government changes to welfare penalising disabled children: http://t.co/pGPTol6 @childrensociety's @raficooper

  7. Sam Royston (Policy Adviser to The Children's Society)

    Dear David,

    Many thanks for your comment on this post. I agree many adults in the ESA WRAG will not be able to work for some time and I think you make a fair point about this, however, I still think ti is fair to point out that many will have aspirations to do so at some point.

    I think a crucial point around this issue is not about benefit rates per se, but about income stability. For low income families it is crucial to have a level of support they can rely upon, as such the way to align benefit rates is to uprate one group over time, and as resources become available, not to cut support for another group (as is being done with disabled children).

    Thanks for signing the petition!

    All the best,

    Sam

  8. Sam Royston (Policy Adviser to The Children's Society)

    Dear Anon E Mouse,

    Thank you for your comments about this post. Regarding transitional protection I think there are three key points:

    Firstly, only existing benefit claimants will be protected – new claimants
    following the introduction of universal credit will receive no protection and
    could lose substantially compared to their entitlement under the current
    system.

    Secondly, the level of protection will not be uprated with inflation, meaning that even relatively large losses under the universal credit would be eroded within just a few years.

    Finally, households whose circumstances change may lose their cash
    protection. What counts as a “change in circumstances” for these purposes has not yet been defined in detail.

    For households at risk of losing substantial cash protection, this could
    create a minefield of benefit complexity – they will need detailed welfare
    rights advice to ensure that they are aware of what changes of circumstances could lead to them losing their additional support.

    All the best,
    Sam

  9. Kidz Exhibitions

    Help stop government changes to welfare penalising disabled children
    http://t.co/i3zrd5E RT

  10. Peter Underwood

    RT @leftfootfwd: Help stop government changes to welfare penalising disabled children: http://t.co/pGPTol6 @childrensociety's @raficooper

  11. REDP

    RT @leftfootfwd: Help stop government changes to welfare penalising disabled children: http://t.co/pGPTol6 @childrensociety's @raficooper

  12. Sue Marsh

    WHO?? Who would bother to defend this in a comments section? who would defend it at all?

  13. Rebecca Devitt

    The government estimates that 100,000 disabled children will be hit by changes to Welfare!!! http://t.co/43roXpP

  14. Anon E Mouse

    Sue Marsh – Defend what?

    The story isn’t true. It’s just spin from this fine blog. If someone doesn’t pay you £27 from one benefit but pays you £27 from another benefit then you’ve lost nothing. You have exactly the same amount of money you had before.

    It’s simple maths….

  15. Jo Ormerod

    RT @leftfootfwd: Help stop government changes to welfare penalising disabled children: http://t.co/pGPTol6 @childrensociety's @raficooper

  16. TheCreativeCrip

    RT @leftfootfwd: Help stop government changes to welfare penalising disabled children http://t.co/FvzYXOs

  17. DavidG

    “Mr Mouse’s inevitable attack on Labour is undercut by his own words”.

    Nope.

    Read the government’s response before you start criticising words that aren’t mine please: http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2011-06-08b.57941.h&s=disabled+children+universal+credit+curran#g57941.q0

    Which confirms precisely the point I made, protection is ‘at the point of transition’ and only for those with an existing claim. If your child is newly disabled, no protection, and no £27/week.

    “And btw DavidG you say you’d signed a petition “before even seeing it”. Enough said…”

    Indeed, you misunderstood what the minister was saying and then misunderstood that I had signed the petition before reading the article.

  18. Yet another nasty in the welfare bill: Means testing support for the disabled-since-youth | Left Foot Forward

    […] also: • Help stop government changes to welfare penalising disabled children – Sam Royston, August 15 […]

  19. Simone F. Meiszner

    RT @leftfootfwd: Help stop government changes to welfare penalising disabled children http://t.co/0hsDWEQG

  20. Simone Farrugia Meiszner

    The problem is not all parents are even aware of the Welfare Reform Bill.I have spoken to many who do not know anything about the proposed changes but they will soon and that is when they will wake up. I know of the hardship as my daughter is now older. It takes away your life and it is not only the affect of money but to the health of the carers, mothers and fathers and the stress it puts on their relationships. I am disgusted with this current bill.They have not informed people or consulted enough carers or disabled individuals.

  21. How disability reforms were whitewashed from Labour's conference | Left Foot Forward

    […] • Help stop government cahnges to welfare penalising families with disabled children – Sam Royston, August 15th 2011 […]

  22. Dave Sharp

    David says that his govt is instructed to be 'fair and right' – is it right to be hitting the disabled so hard: http://t.co/UqKcKGW5 #cpc11

  23. Sarah Stacey

    David says that his govt is instructed to be 'fair and right' – is it right to be hitting the disabled so hard: http://t.co/UqKcKGW5 #cpc11

  24. Cheezy

    David says that his govt is instructed to be 'fair and right' – is it right to be hitting the disabled so hard: http://t.co/UqKcKGW5 #cpc11

  25. Charlie Whelton

    David says that his govt is instructed to be 'fair and right' – is it right to be hitting the disabled so hard: http://t.co/UqKcKGW5 #cpc11

  26. Marcus A. Roberts

    David says that his govt is instructed to be 'fair and right' – is it right to be hitting the disabled so hard: http://t.co/UqKcKGW5 #cpc11

  27. Chloe Greene

    David says that his govt is instructed to be 'fair and right' – is it right to be hitting the disabled so hard: http://t.co/UqKcKGW5 #cpc11

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