Economic Problems of Disabled People


  • Six million adults in the UK are disabled.
  • Although two million are of working age, only about 700,000 have a job.
  • One in six needs someone else to help them with the tasks of everyday living.
  • Most disabled people have to divert part of their limited income to costs which non-disabled people do not have to meet.
  • Three quarters depend on basic social security benefits for the majority of their income.

These are some of the main economic problems of disabled people identified by a major official survey undertaken by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys. This report analyses that survey from three points of view: the employment status of disabled people, the additional expenses of being disabled (eg heating, special diet and transport needs), and the incredible variety of income maintenance benefits available to disabled people. The report also discusses major changes in government policies for disabled people since 1985, and the extent to which these have managed to address the economic problems identified.