‘Disability price tag’ means life is more expensive for disabled children and their families, new research shows
New research from charity Scope has revealed that families with disabled children have to spend more money each month to have the same standard of living as families with non-disabled children, resulting in financial inequality.
According to Scope, it costs families with disabled children, on average, an extra £581 each month to have the same standard of life as those families without disabled children. Additionally, for 20 percent of these families, it can cost a shocking £1,000 extra, and above, per month.
New research from Scope shows that, on average, a family with a disabled child would have to pay £581 a month to have the same standard of living as a family with a non-disabled child. For 1 in 5 families, these extra costs come to more than £1000 a month.
According to the charity, there are a number of reasons that life for disabled children is more expensive. For example, play often costs more due to specialist toys often being far more expensive than those sold to non-disabled children.
“Due to these extra costs, disabled people have a lower standard of living than non-disabled people even when they earn the same,” Scope emphasised.
As well as specialist toys, travel insurance can also be especially expensive for families with disabled children. Certain companies deny cover altogether and the companies that do offer travel insurance often charge more for people with disabilities or health conditions.
Travelling around can also prove expensive for disabled children, as it can be difficult to find accessible public transport, which often results in parents having to pay taxis or private-hire vehicles.
Scope added: “Even parents or carers who can use their own cars to get about can face extortionate parking costs if they need to attend regular hospital appointments.”
Treatments like physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, and speech and language therapy can often help children with disabilities. However, parents and carers often have to spend their own money on these and some parents cannot afford the therapy costs.
In light of this, Scope is calling for the financial inequality disabled people and their families face to end. It has also said that the Government needs to do everything it can to close the disability inequality gap.
“All these costs add up, meaning that parents and carers can find it difficult to give their children the support they need to get the best start in life,” the charity said. “Given the financial impact of this inequality, it is particularly important that the social security system gives parents and carers with disabled children the support they need.”
Scope is also urging the Government to reform the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment to accurately capture extra costs faced by disabled people.
The charity is urging people to support its Disability Price Tag campaign by inviting their MPs to Scope’s event to improve financial support for families with disabled children. The aim is to raise awareness amongst MPs about the extra costs disabled children and their families face and to encourage them to get involved with the campaign.