Why benefits are essential for disabled people

Our response to the latest Department for Work and Pensions' report, "Uses of Health and Disability Benefits", written by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen).

In response to the publication of the report, Uses of Health and Disability Benefits, written by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) our Director of Policy, Gemma Hope, said: 

"We welcome the efforts of the Work and Pensions Select Committee to force publication of the 2020 report into disability benefits for the DWP. The long overdue publication shows these benefits are essential for disabled people to survive financially. Worryingly, many disabled people who have benefits as their main or sole income could not afford to pay for crucial health-related costs on top of daily living.  

"With disabled people hit particularly hard by the cost of living crisis and energy price rises, there is a clear need for benefit increases: benefits should rise by 6% in line with projected inflation. Any decision made on disability benefits must be subject to proper scrutiny.  

"The DWP must publish the evidence it receives on key issues relating to disabled people, including benefits. For over a decade, many disabled people endured incorrect assessments, a lack of understanding and unjustified disbelief of their claims – for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit (UC). 

"People who are disabled or living with a disabled person are often among the poorest households: half are living in poverty. Disabled people continue to face high extra costs in their daily lives. Disability benefits must increase and the government must act now."

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