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Poverty & Disabled People: The Deepening Divide. Scale of the problem? In 2012/13, 20% of individuals in families containing a disabled adult were living.

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Presentation on theme: "Poverty & Disabled People: The Deepening Divide. Scale of the problem? In 2012/13, 20% of individuals in families containing a disabled adult were living."— Presentation transcript:

1 Poverty & Disabled People: The Deepening Divide

2 Scale of the problem? In 2012/13, 20% of individuals in families containing a disabled adult were living in relative poverty. For families with no disabled adults the figure was 14%. However our current means of measuring poverty is based solely on average household income and does not take into account the extra costs associated with disability. Therefore the 20% figure is likely to be a significant under-estimate.

3 Scale of the problem? A recent study by Scope found that disabled people spend an average £550 a month in disability related expenses (e.g. taxis, increased use of heating, special equipment, care costs, etc.). As a result disabled people: Are twice as likely to have unsecured debt totalling more than half of their income Are three times more likely to use doorstep loans Have on average £108,000 fewer savings and assets than non- disabled people

4 Taking into account additional costs the New Policy Institute estimate that, in the UK, there are 1 million more households containing a disabled person living in poverty than are counted in official figures. That would equate to around 100,000 more households in Scotland and would raise the poverty rate to around 26% - i.e. nearly twice the rate for non-disabled people. Similarly the DWP estimate that disabled people are twice as likely to experience “material deprivation” as non-disabled people. Scale of the Problem

5 Disabled People & Work The proportion of disabled people in work rose from 38% in 1998 to 48% in But employment of disabled people, in Scotland, has fallen during the “recession” and stood at 44% last September. The employment rate for non-disabled Scots is currently 79% - nearly twice as high. As a result disabled people are much more likely to be dependent on benefits for some or all of their income.

6 Impact of Welfare Reform? The Centre for Welfare Reform estimates that in England the combination of cuts in benefits AND services will mean that: People in poverty will lose an average of £2,195 p.a. - 5 times more than the burden placed on the average citizen. Disabled people will lose an average of £4,410 per person - 9 times more than the burden placed on the average citizen. People with severe disabilities, in need of daily care, will lose an average of £8,832 per person - 19 times the burden

7 100,000 Scots disabled people will lose ESA as a result of stricter assessment criteria and time limiting claims to 6 months 40% of WCAs are overturned on appeal, rising to 70% if the claimant is represented by a CAB worker In Dec 2013 the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s decision that the Work Capability Assessment is discriminatory towards people with mental illness, autism and learning difficulties Between over 250,000 assessments were overturned at review or appeal Changes to Incapacity Benefit/ESA have cost affected households an average of £3,480 pa Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)

8 Benefit Sanctions Between Oct. 2012, when the new sanctions regime for Job Seekers Allowance came into effect, and June 2014, nearly 1.5 million sanctions were applied. Of these over 300,000 (21%) were applied against disabled people. In Scotland, 132,074 sanctions were imposed suggesting that nearly 30,000 JSA sanctions were applied against disabled people. A further 3,800 people in the Work Related Activity Group for ESA were sanctioned between Dec and June 2014.

9 WCA, Sanctions & Mandatory Reconsideration Over 40% of those losing entitlement to ESA after a WCA are people with a mental health issue or learning difficulty Disabled people seeking to overturn their Work Capability Assessment receive no ESA whatsoever during their Mandatory Reconsideration and are instead told to claim JSA. There is no time limit on how long a Mandatory Reconsideration may take. 61% of ESA sanctions were against claimants with ‘mental and behavioural disorders’. Hardship payments are only paid in limited circumstances. They are normally paid at 60% of the IS personal allowance - £43.44 pw

10 PIP Assessments & Delays Almost two out of three people who have applied for PIP are receiving nothing at all unless they are terminally ill. Out of the 15.4% of new claims that have received a decision, only 37% have been awarded PIP. This means that by Dec 2013 only 12, 654 people, out of the 220,300 new claims to PIP had been awarded any benefit. Disabled people are waiting an average 107 days to have their cases decided - and terminally ill patients 28 days - rather than the DWP predicted processing times of 74 days and 10 days respectively.

11 Combatting Poverty Internships for young disabled people should be established in every Scottish Government directorate – and then in every public body. Procurement contracts to include social benefit clauses placing a requirement on contractors to provide apprenticeships New employment programme to be established to replace the Work Programme providing tailored support. An expansion of the Access to Work scheme - every pound spent oN Access to Work generates £1.60 in tax revenue.

12 Combatting Poverty Scrap the current WCA and PIP assessment schemes Establish a new integrated benefits and social care system which supports disabled people to fulfil their potential and participate in work, volunteering and community life. Any new system should recognise the social value of other roles including volunteering and care work.


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