A team of researchers have for the first time estimated the cost and impact of disabilities on the finances of disabled people. According to data, 90% of the population with a serious disability in Spain is in a state of moderate poverty and 56% lives in a state of extreme poverty.
"With a compared and contrasted methodology, our study shows how high the cost of being dependent can be and how much it can contribute to increasing poverty," explains Francisco Javier Braa Pino, researcher at the University of Salamanca (Spain) and author of the recent study that analyses the relationship between disabilities and a precarious economic situation.
According to the report, the cost of moderate disability (when daily activity is partially limited) is around 40% of household income whereas the cost of severe disability rises to account for 70%.
Braa states that "without taking into account income corrections (estimated disability expenses) the disabled population shows incidence, intensity and severity of poverty that are substantially higher than the national average in Spain."
Furthermore, when total household income is adjusted to take into account such costs, more than 90% of those suffering from a severe disability enter into moderate poverty and 56% into extreme poverty.
According to Braa, "this situation contributes to increasing total poverty in Spain from 20% before the income adjustment to 27% after."
According to data from the Living Conditions Survey, the additional costs of disabilities have more of a devastating effect on poverty in Spain. "In general, our estimations put the cost of disability in Spain above those seen in neighbouring countries with a similar level of development," warns the researcher.
Braa declares that "with this study we hope to show the long road ahead in creating equality for disabled people which, in other words, means getting rid of the income and conversion ha
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology