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Extra Costs Commission highlights the extra costs of disability

Wednesday 19th October 2016

The Extra Costs Commission - an independent inquiry into the extra costs faced by disabled people and their families  - has made recommendations for disabled people, organisations, businesses, regulators and government to help drive down the additional costs of disability.

The Commission's progress report published today [PDF], highlights the additional costs for disabled people and their families of everyday items like specialised technology and services or energy bills for example.

The report finds that:

  • Disabled people and their families are starting to demand more as consumers, capitalising on their combined spending power of £212 billion a year.
  • Businesses like Marks and Spencer and Uber are thinking more about the service they provide to disabled people.
  • Disability organisations have been supporting disabled people and businesses to address the problem of extra costs. 

Contact a Family's own research [PDF] showed that a quarter of the 3,500 parents who took part in our Counting the Costs survey said that every month they face £300 or more extra costs relating to their child's disability or health condition.

These extra costs can include high heating bills because a child's condition requires them to stay warm; travel expenses to and from hospital appointments; special food, and adaptations to the home or car.

Claiming Disability Living Allowance to help with extra costs

It's important to remember that Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is the main benefit for disabled children and is there to help meet some of the extra costs of having a disabled child [PDF].

Families describe getting DLA as life-changing - that's why it's so important to claim DLA and don't miss out. However, we know that take up is low and millions go unclaimed.

Evidence from our Counting the Costs campaign found the main reasons why families are not making a claim for DLA are often linked to misconceptions about DLA eligibility, such as believing their child's disabilities wouldn't count  or that a diagnosis for your child is needed before you can claim.

We want more families to get advice on this life-changing benefit. Call our free helpline so we can talk you through the rules for getting DLA and send you our free guide.