[I]n recognition of the International Day of Persons with Disability, we are launching a Disability Benefit database to give some much needed publicity to this oft-neglected social security instrument. The database complements a similar and very useful old age pension database that can be found at HelpAge International’s Pension Watch website. Our hope is that the database will give some support to the persons with disabilities of Kiribati and across the world as they struggle to have their rights recognised…..
Disability benefits should be a core component of any national social security system. There is strong international evidence that disability increases the risk of individuals and families falling into poverty. Many PwDs face additional costs if they are to access school or employment and disability benefits can provide them with essential support to increase their independence. Others face care costs – which can be significant – while family members often have to give up or reduce their employment to look after them. In the absence of a disability benefit not only do PwDs experience greater difficulties, so do their relatives, with significant impacts on the wellbeing of children. One consequence of the absence of a disability benefit – or an old age pension for the elderly with disabilities– is the greater social exclusion of PwDs ….
I’m writing this as the father of a daughter who has received a disability benefit from birth. It has made a significant difference to her life, enabling us to finance activities for her that – in the absence of the benefit – we would never have been able to. There are those who believe that my daughter should never have received this benefit, arguing that it should have been means-tested. They are wrong and they are prejudiced. Without it, her life would have been much less fulfilling. So, let’s not let the mean means-testers destroy the lives of people with disabilities across developing countries.
Stephen Kidd, “Disability Benefits: The Neglected Social Security Instrument“, Just KIDDing, Development Pathways, 2 December 2013.
Development Pathways’ new Disability Benefit database can be accessed here.