UK Policy Briefings
Spring Budget 2021: Covid-19 and economic challenges for disabled women
Date Posted: Monday 1st March 2021
- There are 14.1 million disabled people in the UK: 20% of men and 23% of women are disabled.
- Half of all people in poverty live in a household with at least one disabled person. Overall, 28% of disabled families live in poverty, compared with 18% of families where no one is disabled.
- During the Covid-19 pandemic, a survey showed over a third of disabled mothers reporting that they have struggled to feed their children.
- Disabled women were the most likely group to say they will come out of the Covid-19 pandemic in more debt. Early in the crisis 34.2% of disabled women reported their household had already run out of money (compared with 24.4% of non-disabled women).
- The cost of living has risen for disabled people during the Covid-19 pandemic. Disabled people were already facing on average an extra £583 in costs per month due to their impairment or condition. The decision not to raise legacy benefits in line with the Universal Credit uplift has particularly impacted disabled people.
- 20% of disabled women have reported losing government support since the start of the crisis and 42.9% had lost support from others around them.
- 53.4% of disabled women are employed compared with 71.8% of non-disabled women. Disabled women’s employment has increased by 11.6% in the past 7 years however they are more likely to be underemployed and in low-paid jobs.
- Disabled people earn 6% less than non-disabled people, equivalent to £3,822 per year. However, the gap for disabled women is significantly higher at 36% (median earnings compared to a non-disabled man), equivalent to less £7,020 per year.
- 1 in 5 employers are still hesitant to employ a disabled person, and 42% of employers are discouraged from hiring disabled vacancy applicants due to concerns about providing adequate support during the Covid-19 pandemic.