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Has welfare become unfair – the impact of changes on disabled people

On Thursday 18th July 2019, Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) published a report called ‘‘Has welfare become unfair – the impact of changes on disabled people” looks at the financial impact and lived experiences of welfare reform on disabled people.

Changes to the welfare system over the past ten years have left disabled adults four times worse off financially than non-disabled adults, according to new research commissioned by the Disability Benefit Consortium.

While many people who receive welfare support have experienced cuts of an average of £300 as a result of changes to the welfare system, disabled people have typically lost around £1,200 per year.

The research funded by the Three Guineas Trust and conducted by the University of East Anglia, the University of Glasgow and Landman Economics is the first comprehensive study looking specifically at the cumulative impact of welfare changes on disabled people.

The research also found:

  • The more disabilities you have the more you lose out, for example someone who has six or more disabilities loses over £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 over £4,300 per year

As part of the research, 50 people living with a variety of conditions and disabilities were interviewed about their experiences. People said that they found the application and assessment processes highly stressful, and that they did not feel trusted, and constantly challenged.

The report also states that the current system has become so complex and dysfunctional, that many disabled people have found it has had a devastating impact on their wider health and wellbeing.

You can find the full report here

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