Parents of disabled children face cuts
Parents of disabled children could lose up to £1,400 a year in benefits, according to the Children's Society.
Its Chief Executive Bob Reitemeier says he fears welfare reforms will plunge thousands of families below the poverty line.
He says: "This cut threatens to push many disabled children back below the poverty line. With 100,000 children affected by this, there are 100,000 reasons to rethink this policy."
The Children's Society says the cuts are a result of changes to benefits to create the Universal Credit, which the Government claims will simplify the benefits system. It says the money saved will mean it can increase money for severely disabled children.
The Children's Society says that currently families with a disabled child may be entitled to receive support through the disability elements of child tax credit. Under the Universal Credit, this support is to be provided through "disability additions" within household benefit entitlement.
It adds that "the policy intention of government is to halve the maximum level of support provided through the disability additions within Universal Credit, when compared to the disability element of child tax credit – reduced from £54 per week at current rates, down to £27 per week. This is equivalent to a loss of around £1400 per year. This change could push families below the poverty line".
The rate is paid per child.
The Society says: "All but the most disabled children (those receiving the higher rate care component of DLA) will stand to lose out substantially as a result of this change. However, even the most severely disabled children could lose out substantially, depending on how the government implement the higher disability addition paid to this group under the Universal Credit."
The Government estimates that this change will affect around 100,000 disabled children, saving £100 million a year.