Counting the Costs

Purple banner - 1 in 3 parent carers were plunged into debt during lockdown

Thank you to everyone who has got involved with our Counting the Costs campaign to call for a benefits and support system that genuinely values carers. 

Thousands of you have already shared your views, written to your local MP or helped our campaign by speaking out in the media.  Get involved with the next phase by joining our campaign network

Families with disabled children are still living with the financial fallout of the pandemic. Watch two families talk to Channel 4 News on how this affects them and their children.

Almost half of families with disabled children report a devastating drop in household income of £48 a week – or £2,500 a year.

And that’s before the Universal Credit £20 uplift ended on 6 October 2021.

“I worked before I had the twins and hoped to return to work after my husband died. But it’s just impossible because my children need caring for and my energy is taken up with my constant battle for support. It’s been and continues to be a struggle every single step of the way.”

Mum Joanne

Why we’re campaigning

Counting the Costs 2021, our major survey of almost 3,000 UK families with disabled children, found that:

Counting the Costs also reveals that the squeeze and pressure on incomes comes at a cost to the wellbeing of families, with 92% of parent carers saying going without affects their own health and a third (34%) saying it affects the health of their child.

Worryingly, some families with disabled children don’t see a way out, with almost one in five saying they have increased care commitments due to the pandemic that will impact their ability to earn money in the future.

Download the full Counting the Costs 2021 report [PDF].

“Parent carers felt abandoned during the pandemic, filling the gaps not only with home education, but nursing and physiotherapy too. Financial difficulties combined with a lack of support have taken their toll. We must turn the tide and have a benefits and support system that genuinely values carers.”

Amanda Batten, CEO Contact

Join our Counting the Costs campaign

We can’t stay silent about these shocking findings. We are stepping up our campaign and calling for:

• An increase in Carer’s Allowance and child disability payments under Universal Credit.
• Energy companies to introduce a special tariff for households with sick and disabled children due to the rising bills facing families this winter.
• The government to invest in specialist independent advice services, to help families with disabled children claim what they are entitled to.