Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Campaign launched to help families with a disabled or ill child

A campaign aimed at easing the financial strain on families of disabled children is being launched as part of Swansea Council's fight against child poverty.

The local authority's Social Inclusion Unit is hoping to raise awareness of Disability Living Allowance amid concerns that local families with a disabled or ill child could be missing out on thousands of pounds a year.

There are an estimated 700,000 children living with disabilities in the UK, but only 270,000 of them are claiming Disability Living Allowance.

Research indicates that families most likely to be going without this benefit are those on the lowest incomes who need it the most. CBBC's Newsround says that 84% of families with a disabled child are in debt. And this could be due to families facing added costs but not claiming the extra help they're entitled to.

DLA is payable for children who have longer-term illnesses, disabilities, learning difficulties, mental health problems or behavioural disorders. The benefit has two parts and those entitled to the highest rate on each could receive over £100 per week.

Many people who don't know they should claim DLA will be missing out on other payments which this benefit makes them entitled to. Claiming DLA could result in huge boosts to a struggling household's income and could make a real difference to their children's quality of life.

Mary Sherwood, Campaigns and Development Officer in Swansea Council's Social Inclusion Unit, said: "The range of needs covered by DLA is vast and people might be struggling on without realising they are entitled to extra help."

During the Child DLA Take-up Campaign the Social Inclusion Unit will be offering training, advice and support to other workers in the Local Authority and in partner organisations so they are better able to support and advise all their clients about DLA.

The Unit is also planning to hold talks and information sessions for the public in venues around Swansea such as family centres. They would be delighted to hear from anyone who would like to attend or arrange a talk.

Anyone who needs information on DLA should contact the Social Inclusion Unit on 01792 637401 or email


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