A new survey commissioned by the national charity Turn2us has found that, despite a recovering economy, 89% of people on low incomes with disabilities have seen no sign of their financial situation improving in the last year.
The survey found that in the last year, almost four-fifths (78%) have struggled to pay for food and other essentials, and nearly half (46%) say that their outgoings now exceed their earnings.
Three-fifths (60%) revealed that the continuing struggle to cover their costs was negatively affecting their health. Worryingly, half (49%) expect their financial situation to decline further over the next twelve months.
The new research also examines the financial struggles of households who experienced the onset of disability or illness within the last year. Seven in ten (71%) of these households say this change to their health has negatively impacted their finances, and as a result, almost half (47%) have been forced to cut back on food, and over a third (34%) have resorted to borrowing money from family and friends.
In response to these ongoing problems, Turn2us is encouraging everyone in need to check what financial support could be available by using its free, online Benefits Calculator at www.BenefitsAwareness.org.uk. The website also features information on what support is available depending on the different changes in circumstances households may experience.
Alison Taylor, Director of Operations at Turn2us, said: “Many low-income households are already struggling to afford basic goods – just one change in their situation is enough to push them into real financial hardship. That change could be an unexpected bill, becoming ill, bereaved or losing your job. Support is often available through the benefits system but many people are just not aware of the benefits they are entitled to. We aim to highlight the support available, so people are not left struggling without help, at a time they need it most.”