Parents of disabled children going without food and heating

An annual survey has found that 14 per cent of parents caring for disabled children are missing meals, and 17 per cent cannot afford to heat their homes.

The online survey was completed by 2,312 parent carers responsible for a disabled child: 76 per cent were in a couple relationship and 24 per cent were lone parents.

Other key findings

  • For those not in work, 24 per cent are going without food, and 32 per cent without heating.
  • 26 per cent are going without specialist equipment or adaptations for their child.
  • 29 per cent are in debt, with 21 per cent having been threatened with court action for failing to keep up with payments.
  • Nearly 60 per cent think their financial situation will get worse in the next 12 months, with 73 per cent citing benefit reforms as the main reason.
  • Families with disabled children are most worried about the replacement of disability living allowance by the new personal independence payment, the introduction of universal credit and housing benefit cuts.

Source: Counting the Costs 2012: The Financial Reality for Families with Disabled Children across the UK, Contact a Family

Links: Report | Council for Disabled Children press release