Contact a Family, a charity that supports the families of disabled children, has launched a new “Counting the Costs” campaign calling for action from the government and energy companies as a result of recent research, which found that the number of families with disabled children going without food has doubled over the last two years and that a third of families go without heating regularly.
They are urging families to seek advice from them about finances and benefits after finding that 83% are going without due to a lack of money and 13% have suffered marital or relationship breakdown as a result.
36% are going without specialist equipment, therapies and hospital visits, while 7% have used food banks to feed their families.
The campaign is calling on the government to make changes to the tax and benefit systems to ensure that families with disabled children can stay out of poverty, saying that there should be an increase in the Carers Allowance threshold, increased help with childcare costs and a widening of the child disability criteria of Universal Credit to include children on the middle rate of DLA care component and those on the high rate for mobility. They are also calling for energy companies to provide a discount for households with disabled children, inclusion in the Warm Homes Scheme and assistance to switch to more economic tariffs.
Source: Contact a Family