Disabled people hardest hit by welfare reform, according to new report

Disabled people are four times worse of financially than non-disabled people as a result of welfare reforms, according to new research commissioned by the Disability Benefits Consortium.

The Motor Neurone Disease Association is a member of the coalition which has released the report which shows disabled people have lost around £1,200 per year as a result of welfare changes compared to average cuts of £300.

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

Today’s report by the Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC), a coalition of more than 80 UK disability organisations “Has welfare become unfair – the impact of changes on disabled people” which is based on this research, looks at the financial impact and lived experiences of welfare reform on disabled people over the past 10 years. It includes interviews with 50 people living with a variety of conditions and disabilities.

Alex Massey, Policy Manager for the Motor Neurone Disease Association, said:

“This important report clearly demonstrates that disabled people are being hit hardest by the cuts made to the welfare system. It also shows that once the rollout of Universal Credit begins in earnest, many more disabled people will feel the impact of these changes. The Government must act now to protect vulnerable people by restoring the Severe Disability Premium and ensuring that assessment processes are fit for purpose.”

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