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Covid-19: Disabled People

Volume 691: debated on Wednesday 24 March 2021

What steps the Government are taking to help protect disabled people from the effects of the covid-19 outbreak. (914006)

The Government are committed to supporting disabled people affected by the covid-19 outbreak. As part of Access to Work, we have introduced a more blended offer to help disabled people find and stay in work, including prioritising applications from disabled people in the clinically extremely vulnerable group.

The UK’s high and unequal covid death toll includes disabled people, who account for six out of 10 covid deaths. Last month’s Office for National Statistics data showed that both disabled men and women are more than three times more likely to die if they contract covid than non-disabled people. Even when we adjust for various factors including age or pre-existing health conditions, there is still an additional covid risk associated with disability. So I repeat my question from last June: what assessment have the Government undertaken of the covid deaths of working-age disabled social security claimants? Given their additional risk, what are the Government doing to protect them?

I know that the hon. Lady is very passionate about making sure that anybody with barriers, anybody impacted on by this pandemic, is absolutely supported, and that is something that we have been doing at DWP. Through our Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, we are listening to and engaging with charities and hearing from those people who are working, those with learning disabilities, autistic people, and people with complex needs. Of course, this is an incredibly worrying time for people with disabilities. The Minister is looking at this very carefully and will keep it under review.