From the TUC

Cuts Watch #245: Housing Benefit and disabled children

15 Sep 2010, by in Cuts Watch

Contact a Family, the charity for families with disabled children, has raised concerns that the 2011 changes to Housing Benefit will hit disabled children especially hard. The charity has written to the Work and Pensions select committee, which is conducting an inquiry into the forthcoming changes to Housing Benefit.

They point out that families with disabled children are more likely to be in rented accommodation and that a study they had carried out had found that, in the last year, 14% of families with disabled children had fallen behind with their rent or mortgage and 15% had had to borrow money to pay their rent or mortgage. A key Contact a Family concern is the HB rule that requires children to share a room – they point out that the disruption caused by carers, noisy equipment or challenging behaviour can simply make this impossible. They are particularly worried about the impact on families with disabled child of the new rule that reduces your Housing Benefit by 10 per cent if you have been on Jobseeker’s Allowance for a year or more.

Yesterday we pointed to evidence from Every Disabled Child Matters that the cuts are already wiping out the gains achieved under the Aiming High for Disabled Children. With the Contact a Family evidence, it is starting to look as though disabled children are one of the groups most likely to suffer under the cuts. It will be interesting to see how this is justified as “progressive”.

6 Responses to Cuts Watch #245: Housing Benefit and disabled children

  1. Sharon richards
    Sep 15th 2010, 5:46 pm

    Life is difficult enough when you have a disabled child with out having the added worry of wether or not you can keep up with the rent ;-(

  2. Alison Wiles
    Sep 17th 2010, 12:22 am

    These cuts will be devastating for families and people with Autism and other disabilities. This is why we need to ACT NOW please show your support and sign our petition – the cuts are already a reality!! http://actnow01.web.officelive.com/default.aspx

  3. Housing Benefit changes will make thousands homeless in London alone | ToUChstone blog: A public policy blog from the TUC
    Sep 22nd 2010, 11:51 am

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  4. traceyx
    Oct 4th 2010, 9:56 pm

    i have 3 young children, my eldest (8) has downs syndrome. we are in private rented accomodation after homelessness and pay £100 rent my self, single parent + on benefits this is hard, H.E will not allow my 8 year old to share a room with 6 year old daughter and this is impossible with his behaviour, i have been on their list for a house for years and my area of choice (to be beside family for support) and have been told it is a 20 year waiting list with these new cutbacks i will have reduced benefits and more rent to pay and will end up homeless again which i could not mentally do as it is just too much trauma for him, i am extremely concerned about all this and just don’t know where my family will be this time next year and now i hear they are going to close special needs schools??? how can they??? this is absurd not just my son but many more kids out there worse than him will be severly affected by all these decisions. someone please do something. x

  5. traceyx
    Oct 4th 2010, 9:59 pm

    i meant H.E will not allow me to have them in seperate rooms because of their age, also incase anyone wonders, i have looked into going back to schooling or full time job but the actual jobs and benefits have told me i would be worse off working as i would have more babysitting costs because of my sons needs and caring situation. x

  6. Tracy
    Oct 17th 2010, 11:29 pm

    The proposals are beyond outgrageous, we have a child with an extremely rare, life threatening chromosomal disorder, intractable epilepsy, autism, ect……. I home educate because its the best option for our child, we have never used an outside resources and so this latest proposed come as a huge blow

    for families with disabled children life is very difficult and now they want to make things ten times harder, perhaps they should look at putting an end to their expenses budget and put the money where its needed most… People are not in this situation of their own making and should be helped and supported, not driven further into poverty because we are such an easy target!!