HALF of families with disabled children have gone hungry as they struggle to cover bills.
While 70 per cent of parents have been left unable to work due to cuts to support services and reduced benefits, say figures from charity Family Fund.Hard up families with disabled children are struggling to put food on the table, says Family Fund[/caption]
Their Cost of Care survey found the cost of living crisis is hitting already stretched families raising disabled and seriously ill children hardest.
The Sun’s and the disabled Children’s Partnership have campaigned for the Government give back an annual funding cut for vital care and services – which last year rose to £573million.
CEO Cheryl Ward said: “The majority of families who have been supported by Family Fund have shared with us how they are struggling to cover mounting debts and worry constantly about how they are going to clothe and feed their children, fund transport for medical appointments and heat their homes.
“We are doing everything we can to support families whose costs are already three times higher to care for, and raise, their disabled children than costs for other children.”
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Hunt is expected to announce rising fuel duty and council tax while halting one-off payments to help with energy bills.
Family Fund has conducted quarterly polls since the pandemic but warns the latest poll shows a dire picture.
The average income for families of disabled children has fallen by £660 in the last 12 months, according to their stats.
Nine in ten of respondents say they are struggling to pay bills which have increased by an average £100 a month.
More than half have cut down or skipped meals in the last year and 40% have gone hungry as they struggle to make ends meet.
One in five families say their debts have spiralled to more than £1,000.
The survey found 63 per cent of families had to cut down on play and recreational activities with their disabled child – and a third have cut down on sensory toys.
Ten per cent said they would like a warm winter coat for their child and 16 per cent said they would like fresh fruit and veg every day.
Last year Family Fund delivered over 170,919 grants for essential items and services, worth over £37 million, to families on low incomes across the UK.