You Don't Have To Be Disabled And Poor But It's More Likely
hen it comes to disability and money, there is a tendency to equate disability with poverty. This is mainly caused by the narrative that surrounds disability - that you can't achieve, you can't possibly live a life that isn't just solely based on your being disabled and you certainly aren't able to earn. There's a common misconception that to get help as a disabled person you must first live below the poverty line. As a result, we as a society find it hard to see disabled people own nice things or for them to even want them. So what can we do about this? Let’s talk about how we can shift this narrative!
Why Is This The Case?
The reality is that 3 in 10 of the 13 million people with disabilities in the UK live in poverty – that’s 3.8 million adults and 300,000 children.
While this is much higher than non-disabled people, it shows that you can be disabled and have money.
In contrast, the poverty rate among the non-disabled population is 20%, and this gap has continued over recent years.
Add to that a further 3 million non-disabled people who are in poverty and live in a household where someone is disabled.
This means that disability affects nearly half of the 14 million people in poverty in some way.
What’s more, there’s not enough general understanding of the disabled experience. This is why the purple pound exists (which refers to the spending power disabled people have that businesses miss out on by not catering to us.)
The truth is that just as there are non-disabled people who have varying amounts of money, the same applies to disabled people too.
There’s a higher chance that you can be disabled and live below the poverty line but that’s also because that’s what is required for you to get help in the first place.
The social security system is currently failing to provide adequate support for many in need.
The system should be alleviating some of the difficulties that arise from having a disability such as care needs, the rising cost of disability and low-paid, insecure work.
It needs to be redesigned so that it supports those with disabilities through each phase of their lives.
And more importantly, the government must work alongside people affected to remove barriers and create a level playing field for everyone.
In some ways, I believe our attitude to financial aid and disability is what traps people in a cycle of poverty. But there are also inequalities that need addressing, and major improvements in the social security system can help with this.