Half of people in poverty are disabled or live with a disabled person

Originaly published at: http://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/news/2016/august/half-people-poverty-are-disabled-or-live-disabled-person

A detailed new report commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation finds that almost half of people in poverty in the UK are disabled or live in a household with a disabled person.

The New Policy Institute report – Disability and Poverty – says that disabled people are more likely than non-disabled people to be disadvantaged in the following multiple aspects of life: these are problems in of themselves and also contributing factors to poverty:

employment – 46% of working-age disabled people are in employment, compared with 80% of non-disabled people;
skills – there is a considerable ‘skills gap’ between disabled and non-
disabled people (for example, only 15% of disabled people have a degree, compared with around 30% of non-disabled people);
pay – low pay rates for disabled people are higher than those for non-disabled people, at 34% compared with 27%;
costs – disabled people face higher costs than non-disabled people, (such as the cost of equipment to manage a condition) which means that the same level of income secures a lower standard of living than it would for a non-disabled person; and
social security system – there is evidence that ‘extra costs’ benefits such as DLA and PIP do not cover these extra costs sufficiently: in the bottom fifth of the income distribution, disabled people are more likely to be materially deprived, whether they receive extra costs benefits or not.
The report recommends two approaches to reduce poverty among disabled people –

maximise resources – this is partly about increasing employment, (such as the government’s ambition to halve the disability employment rate gap) and a focus on job retention rather than re-entry to work;
reducing costs – high rates of material deprivation among disabled people suggest a failing of the social security system in mitigating these costs. In addition, the role of high housing costs in driving poverty for disabled people should be investigated, particularly for both private and social renters.
A summary of Disability and Poverty is available @ http://npi.org.uk/files/7414/7087/2444/Disability_and_poverty_SUMMARY_REPORT_FINAL.pdf

The full report is available @ http://npi.org.uk/files/3414/7087/2429/Disability_and_poverty_MAIN_REPORT_FINAL.pd

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