A report examined support for people with disabilities under universal credit, arguing that it could decrease work incentives, and would leave some people who were not able to work worse off. The report made recommendations.
Source: Rebalancing Universal Credit: Making it work for disabled people, Citizens Advice
An article examined perceptions of social justice among people with mental illness who were living in poverty. It said that research participants expressed a need for support of self-determination, and that there were multiple unmet needs, which required a multi-faceted approach in order to address them.
Source: Abraham Rudnick, Phyllis Montgomery, Robin Coatsworth-Puspoky, Benita Cohen, Cheryl Forchuk, Pam Lahey, Stewart Perry, and Ruth Schofield, 'Perspectives of social justice among people living with mental illness and poverty: a qualitative study', Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, Volume 22 Number 2
A report by a committee of MPs said that the process for employment and support allowance (ESA) required a 'fundamental redesign' to ensure that it was able to help claimants with health conditions and disabilities to move into employment where possible. The committee said changes should be completed before the new multi-provider contract was tendered (expected to be 2018) and, in the meantime, changes should be made to improve the service and ensure that outcomes for claimants were more appropriate. The committee also considered the impact of the introduction of mandatory reconsideration (MR) of ESA decisions, and the appeals process. It said that MR had the potential to be beneficial, if it led to fewer decisions being taken to appeal, but called on the government to set a reasonable timescale for completing reconsiderations and to allow claimants to claim ESA during the reconsideration period. The report urged the department and the assessment provider to learn from the Tribunals Service summaries of reasons for its decisions, to improve their own initial decisions.
Source: Employment and Support Allowance and Work Capability Assessments, First Report (Session 201415), HC 302, House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee, TSO
A report examined what might help to address the poverty of people with disabilities, the level of which, it said, was consistently underestimated. It said that making society less disabling would reduce poverty, suggesting actions such as: improving affordability and accessibility of transport and housing; developing standards for consumer devices; stopping legal discrimination; better use of technology; and making markets for assistive technologies work more effectively. It said that people with disabilities were less likely to be working and more likely to be low paid, and made recommendations to address this, but said that work was not always the solution and the idea that 'work was the best route out of poverty' could not be applied in all cases.
Source: Tom MacInnes, Adam Tinson, Declan Gaffney, Goretti Horgan, and Ben Baumberg, Disability, Long Term Conditions and Poverty, New Policy Institute
A report examined recent progress by the United Kingdom towards the realization of certain key rights under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, seeking to assess the extent to which the United Kingdom was upholding these rights, and whether recent austerity policies had resulted in retrogression. In particular, the report examined the rights to independent living, work, social security, social protection, and an adequate standard of living, and it concluded that government policies were compromising enjoyment of these fundamental rights, causing significant hardship to people with disabilities.
Source: Jane Young, Dignity and Opportunity for All: Securing the rights of disabled people in the austerity era, Just Fair
A report examined fuel poverty among people with disabilities in England. It concluded that disabled people, especially those on low income benefits and with high energy needs, may experience cold, damp housing, and/or energy debt, regardless of whether or not they were defined as fuel poor, and that official measures neglected the actual energy needs of some people, which often fluctuated over time. It said that the assumption that disability-related benefits could be used to meet fuel bills was flawed, and the use of prepayment meters was inappropriate for many people with disabilities. The report made recommendations for policymakers and practitioners.
Source: Carolyn Snell, Mark Bevan, and Harriet Thomson, Fuel Poverty and Disabled People: The impact of policy change, Centre for Housing Policy (University of York)
A report examined the additional costs incurred by people with disabilities, and the consequences of those costs. It said that the costs relating specifically to disability averaged £550 per month and, as a result, people were more likely to have unsecured debt totalling more than half of their household income, were three times more likely to use door step loans, and had far less savings and assets than non-disabled people. The report called on the government to take a range of actions, including to protect extra costs payments, to redesign personal independence payments, and to place a triple lock on the value of disability benefits, similar to that on state pensions.
Source: Ellie Brawn, Priced Out: Ending the financial penalty of disability by 2020, Scope
An article examined the self-rated health of adults with intellectual disability in Britain, drawing on data from the Life Opportunities Survey and Understanding Society. It said that they reported significantly poorer self-rated health than their peers without intellectual disability, and that they were significantly more likely to be exposed to socio-economic disadvantage, discrimination, and violence.
Source: Eric Emerson, Janet Robertson, Susannah Baines, and Chris Hatton, 'The self-rated health of British adults with intellectual disability', Research in Developmental Disabilities, Volume 35 Issue 3