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Social Security Benefits: Disabled

Volume 459: debated on Tuesday 1 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to improve access to information on financial support for families with disabled children. (131825)

The Government are committed to improving the life chances of disabled people, including disabled children, so that they have opportunities and choices that enable them to participate fully in society. We also want to ensure that every parent of a disabled child or young person has access to, and is aware of, the financial support available to contribute towards extra cost benefits, the principal one among these being Disability Living Allowance.

The Office for Disability Issues (ODI) will be working across Government to drive forward the development and implementation of policy to improve the lives of disabled people, including disabled children. It has a project looking specifically at strategic and inclusive ways of improving information provision to disabled people, with an emphasis on recommending and developing ways to involve the users of information in designing and tailoring it to their needs.

The Disability and Carer's Service (DCS) is an agency that continues to focus on delivering improved services to disabled people and carers in Great Britain. This includes improving the information provided to customers and their representatives.

DCS has established the Family Carers Group. This is a forum which allows DCS to engage and involve voluntary and community organisations in representing the needs of children, and young people who are customers of Disability Living Allowance, as well as their families and carers, in the transformation of DCS services.

DCS actively promotes services to children through a number of outreach events specifically aimed at children to raise awareness about the benefits to which disabled children may be entitled. These included ‘Kidz up North’ on 30 November 2006 and ‘Kidz South’ on 15 March 2007. Both of these were events aimed at families of children with disabilities and on each occasion DCS provided an exhibition stand with staff to answer questions and provide literature on benefits available to disabled people.