Disabled people in poverty battle

DISABLED people in Suffolk are today facing daily financial struggles and battles against poverty, it has been warned.Lyn Eley, manager of Ipswich's Disabled Advice Bureau, said at least three quarters of people with disabilities in the county face serious money worries.

DISABLED people in Suffolk are today facing daily financial struggles and battles against poverty, it has been warned.

Lyn Eley, manager of Ipswich's Disabled Advice Bureau, said at least three quarters of people with disabilities in the county face serious money worries.

She said: “If you're on long-term benefits because you can't work you eventually get into problems, very bad problems.

People are prevented from working and unless benefit payments rise considerably there is no way they can be secure financially.


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“We see an awful lot of it, people who are really struggling.

“People with disabilities also face higher heating costs; their dietary costs are often more. Everything costs more. It is very frustrating.”

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Meanwhile Linda Hoggarth, chairwoman of Optua, a Suffolk-based disability charity, said problems were particularly acute in rural areas of the county where access to transport was difficult.

She said: “It's certainly our belief that many disabled people are likely to be living in poverty across the country and in Suffolk.

“There are a number of reasons for this, for example disabled people may have significant additional costs such as personal care, or mobility aids, which other people do not have.

“They are also less likely to be in employment and have to rely on benefits, which although helpful do not replace a normal wage.

“The picture is no different in Suffolk and the rural nature of the county makes the problem worse.

“Transport is always problem for disabled people in general but in Suffolk where many people live in rural isolation, it's much more of an issue. Bus services are less frequent and many of them are not accessible for disabled people. This makes it difficult and more expensive for them to get about and means someone who would be able to work is less likely to be able to actually get to work.”

Are you facing financial problems as a result of a disability? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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