• Clodagh Meaney

Growing numbers of people with disabilities in Ireland are at risk of poverty

People with disabilities are 37 percent more likely to live in poverty according to statistics.

The Disability Federation of Ireland have warned that many people who receive Disability Allowance in Ireland are at risk of living in poverty.

It comes as the number of claimants receiving the means-tested €203 weekly payment, has rose by 6,000 over the past year.

Speaking to Echo Live, John Dolan, Chief Executive of the Disability Federation of Ireland, said people with disabilities are 37 percent more likely to be at risk of poverty.

“Of the people that are of working age, the great majority of those are living in poverty, and the risk of poverty rate for people with disabilities in Ireland was about 37 per cent in 2018, for the general population that percentage was at 14 per cent," he explained.

John said that the payment for those with disabilities does not adequately cover necessities.

“€203 a week – that doesn’t give people much scope at all, and they have more calls on their disposable income, on that 200 every week for a variety of reasons such as the extra cost of actual practical living."

"For instance if someone has a motorised wheelchair, they’ve got to plug that in at night so that’s drawing on their electricity," he said.

Earlier this month, John spoke at the Oireachtas Special Committee on COVID-19, where he highlighted a funding crisis for disability support services.

"The capacity to provide services and supports, in spite of the economy being fully recovered was going in the wrong direction pre-COVID," he said.

"Organisations have faced huge losses in fundraising and earned income due to the pandemic. Many organisations rely on fundraising income to survive."

© 2020 by EMPWR

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