Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Disability living allowance falls short for ethnic minorities

21.01.2008
Research shows poorer DLA grants for Down's syndrome families from non-English speaking ethnic minority backgrounds

A study carried out by researchers at the Peninsula Medical School and the Institute of Child Health (UCL) has revealed that families from an ethnic, non-English speaking background with a child with Down’s syndrome do worse from the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) system than families facing the same issues who come from a white, English-speaking background.

The research team surveyed the parents of 138 children with Down’s syndrome, aged two years or less, from across the UK who were taking part in a trial of vitamin supplements.

The study revealed that 69 per cent of ethnic minority parents were granted the DLA, compared with 96 per cent of white parents. The survey also showed that 67 per cent of parents with English as a second language received the DLA, compared with 93 per cent of parents for whom English is their first language.

As well as significantly reducing their chances of receiving the DLA, ethnic minority families were also shown to be less likely to be granted a higher monetary award.

The research also noted that severity of disability, such as the presence of cardiac disease or developmental delay, bore no relation to the application, granting or level of the DLA award.

Although all children with Down’s syndrome meet the criteria of the DLA, only 80 per cent were receiving the benefit – this despite the fact that almost all young children with Down’s syndrome require extra help due to global development delay, speech delay and associated health problems, including 40 per cent of children with the condition who have congenital heart defects.

Professor Stuart Logan, Professor of Paediatric Epidemiology and Director of the Institute of Health Service Research at the Peninsula Medical School, commented: “It seems frankly extraordinary given the extra needs they have that any child with Down’s syndrome should be refused disability living allowance. To find that it is ethnic background and first language that predict the likelihood of getting this benefit rather than severity is a real indictment of this complex system.”

He added: “There needs to be more support from practitioners caring for disabled children with regard to making parents aware of their entitlement and how to complete the DLA forms and routine monitoring of the uptake of the DLA related to ethnicity and the first language spoken by the Department of Work and Pensions.”

Caroline Boys, Chief Executive of the Down’s Syndrome Association, commented: "DLA should be based solely upon the needs of the child; it is unacceptable that any other criteria should affect the likelihood of receiving it, whether intentionally or not. It is appalling that so many families are going without the extra financial help that they are entitled to. DLA forms are notoriously difficult to complete, and this research suggests that the system needs to be simplified in order to make sure that assessment is fair."

CASE STUDY

The Chans from Exeter, Devon, are one of the families who took part in the Peninsula Medical School study.

Martin and Charlotte Chan are the parents of five-year old Matthew. When he was born he had a number of initial medical problems, including bowel surgery and the need for medication, which he still takes.

The family was daunted by the DLA forms, and from word go took the advice of experts from Honeylands (an Exeter-based support organisation for people with disability) to help them complete the paperwork.

Said Charlotte of the family’s experience of the DLA: “Stress or what? Looking back as new parents, I’m sure we were still traumatised by the whole event. We knew coming to terms with Matthew’s disabilities would be a gradual acceptance, over a number of years. We felt it would be an injustice to Matthew if we didn’t complete the form satisfactorily and in a way that reflected his needs according to his disabilities. Distinctly, we became aware we didn’t know how his medical condition would impact on his other needs. Truly, we didn’t feel competent to answer some of the questions on the form in depth, as we were not professionals.

“Even then, we realised there was enough information held on our son already, to answer all the questions, in the form of medical reports. There appeared to be a duplication of effort.

“I don’t know what we would have done without Honeylands’ help.”

Matthew is doing very well and attends Pinhoe Church of England Primary School in Exeter, a mainstream school where he is supported by a full-time teaching assistant. According to Mum Charlotte, his speech and language are good for a child with Down syndrome, and his hearing and sight are good too.

What would her advice be to parents faced with the DLA for the first time? “In the best interest of your child and as parents in the early years, at least, seek expert support and opinion from those who know.”

Andrew Gould | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.pms.ac.uk
http://www.downs-syndrome.org.uk

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's Fermi catches gamma-ray flashes from tropical storms

25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics

25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>