Economics and Social Protection

This page features disability news on Economics and Social Protection from the Debrief Library. See also news on other subjects.



Spark Inclusive a help-desk for resources on disability inclusion in rural economies. (Aug, IFAD and LFTW)


Estimating Households’ Expenditures on Disability in Africa: The Uses and Limitations of the Standard of Living Method. “In lower-income countries, people with disabilities are likely to have fewer opportunities to spend on needed items thus resulting in substantial unmet need for disability-related goods and services. Failing to account for these unmet needs can lead to inadequate systems of social protection if they are based solely on SOL estimates.” (Dec, IJERPH)


Working with the grain: economic inclusion of persons with disabilities in Bhutan (Dec, Development in Practice)


Canadians on disability overlooked amid rising inflation (Aug, CTV News)


Disability inclusion key to rural revitalization. On how China's poverty alleviation measures supported persons with disabilities: “between 2014 and 2019, the registered number of persons with disabilities living in extreme poverty fell from 7.19 million to 479,000, and reached zero by 2021.” (Mar, China Daily)


Prioritising persons with disabilities in the action against inflation and energy costs. (Nov, EDF)

A snapshot on the impact of the rising cost of living on service providers in the disability sector. “The report argues for the need for effective government support to help disability service providers cope with the cost of living crisis, and to catalyse their transformation into more resilient and modernised entities.” (Jan)


Salaries for disability professionals to increase but unlikely to be enough to calm a crisis. (Feb, Faire Face)


Emotional ‘journey’ of street beggars with vision impairment: (Aug, Disability and Society)


Government must not forget disabled people in this cost of living crisis (Jul, The


Impact of child disability on parental employment and labour income. “The results showed that caring for children with disabilities has a negative effect on mothers’ labour market participation, working hours and labour income. The more severe a child’s condition is, the more likely the mother was to work and earn less, or to stop working entirely.” (Sep, BMC Public Health)


The Cost of Raising Children with Disabilities. Not only do children with disabilities cause expenditure 40-80% greater than those without, poverty rates are 50% higher in households with children with disabilities. (Sep, UNICEF)

Sri Lanka

The struggle for survival faced by Sri Lanka's senior citizens (Jul, HelpAge)

United Kingdom

Thousands of vulnerable people cut off from gas and electricity for days at a time. (Dec, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism) And this is just the data from last winter.

Blind people amongst those worst affected by cost of living crisis (Oct, City A.M.)

What actions are people taking because of the rising cost of living? “Around 4 in 10 disabled people experiencing rising cost of living cut back on food and essentials” (Aug, ONS)

From disability to destitution devastating analysis on the economic situation of persons with disabilities. (Jul, JRF)

Disabled people's experiences with activities, goods and services. “Disabled people with invisible impairments could face a conflict between needing support but not wanting to have to identify themselves as disabled to access it, because of perceived external judgement and negative stereotypes regarding disability; this contributed to a sense of vulnerability which people felt negatively impacted their wellbeing.” (Jul, ONS)

‘I see price rises of 25-50%’: how inflation is affecting people with a disability or illness (Jul, the Guardian)

A survey of almost 700 people What disabled consumers choose to buy and why “90 per cent were affected at the decision-making stage of purchases by either; limitations of design, limitations in available information, or how information was presented.” (Jun, BDF) See also on Forbes.

In a survey of 1,200 disabled people, more than half feel “anxious, depressed or hopeless” about financial worries and problems (Apr, Yahoo! News)

Disabled people facing ‘impossible choices to survive’ in cost of living crisis, “amid a perfect storm of soaring energy prices, increasing fuel and food costs and cuts to government support”. (Mar, the Guardian)

Rising living costs will push more disabled people into destitution "Benefits are falling far behind the extra costs associated with disability," (Feb, New Statesman)

New data shows food insecurity major challenge to levelling up agenda "People who are limited a lot by disability are approximately 5 times more likely to be food insecure (in the past six months) than people who aren’t living with a disability." (Feb, Food Foundation)

United States

Voices of Disability Economic Justice a series led by disabled writers. (Nov, TCF)

New Rule Would Expand Student Debt Relief for Disabled Borrowers (Aug, TCF)

Financial Inclusion


Inclusive Banking: emerging practices and a call to action to enhance economic inclusion of persons with disabilities. (Apr, IFC)

A Mastercard brief on Bridging the Disability Gap with inclusive financial services, focussing on accessibility of financial services. (May, Mastercard)

Key sheet on Women's Economic Empowerment and Disability Inclusion in Financial Services. (link to pdf, WOW Helpdesk)


The Central Bank of Egypt introduces plastic money in Braille (in Arabic, Jul, Banky)


Persons with disabilities grapple with loan accessibility. (Oct, Disability Justice Project)


Ras Adiba calls for introduction of more inclusive financial system for persons with disabilities. (Sep, Malay Mail)

New initiative to support financial education of blind people. (Aug, Disability Insider)


Gaining respect and financial stability: stories from Nigerian women. Village Savings and Loans Associations to help women set up their own businesses and cover expenses. (Nov, CBM)

Social Protection


A discussion paper on the Disability Support Gap: Community support systems for persons with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries (Link to PDF, Aug, CIP)

Working paper on estimating the Extra Costs for Disability for Social Protection Programs. The paper shows how extra costs can vary dramatically, shows methods to estimate extra costs and how social protection programmes can account for them. (Aug, ILO and UNICEF)

ILO and UNICEF report on the role of social protection in the elimination of child labour. “Studies from Bangladesh, Nepal and Gansu Province, China, have found that children in households where adults are sick or disabled or have missed work are more likely to be in child labour within or outside the household.” (May, ILO)

A message to the IMF and World Bank: Targeted Safety Net Programs Fall Short on Rights Protection. (Apr, Human Rights Watch)

Coalition of international organizations holding a conference on Disability and Social Protection (Mar, Social Protection)

Evidence digest focus issue: Social Protection and Disability See also easy read.

'Approaches by governments with schemes labelled for “poor people with severe disabilities who can’t work or care for themselves” have been widely internalised by disability rights activists, who often perceived social protection as demeaning expression charity rather than as rights-based support. In countries with very minimal social protection systems, leaders of many organisations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) would rather focus on employment and livelihood programs with the argument “jobs not charity”, not always taking into account challenges faced by those with high support needs, children with disabilities and their families, or older persons with disabilities. As a consequence, in many low- and middle-income countries, the disability movement and their allies did not engage significantly in framing the emergence of social protection systems. ' (links to pdfs, Feb, SD Direct)

Social protection and access to assistive technology in low- and middle-income countries by friend of the newsletter Alex Cote. (Dec, Assistive Technology Journal)


NDIS funding isn't just a one-way street – it helps participants secure work and give back to the economy. “I was disabled enough to actually qualify for the Paralympics, but not disabled enough to qualify for any assistance on the NDIS” (Nov, ABC News)

Two-year wait for a wheelchair: inquiry hears of difficulty accessing NDIS for remote Indigenous communities (Jul, the Guardian)

When is a condition 'chronic' and when is it a 'disability'? The definition can determine the support you get (Jun, the Conversation)

Two directors of care provider charged with criminal neglect over death of Ann Marie Smith. (Jun, the Guardian)

Hackers Steal a ‘Very Large’ Batch of Private Data from Australia’s Disability Scheme: “this kind of data breach puts vulnerable people at serious risk of identity theft, fraud, and scams,” (Jun, Vice)

Concern millions of Australians with disability not on the NDIS have been 'forgotten' (May, ABC News)

National Disability Insurance Agency scrutinised woman’s social media posts to challenge her eligibility for the scheme (Mar, the Guardian)


Deal inked to introduce ‘Bangabandhu Suraksha Bima’ for people with disabilities
a health insurance introduce for people with neurodevelopmental disabilities. (Feb, Business Insider BD)


This woman with disabilities gets only $1,169 a month. She hopes the Ontario election changes that. (Apr, CBC)

What happened to the Canada Disability Benefit? “It is 2022, the election has been won and done, and as the cynics predicted, the Canada Disability Benefit is still nowhere to be seen.” (Apr, Canada's National Observer)


The effect of a disability-targeted cash transfer program on universal health coverage and universal access to education: A nationwide cohort study of Chinese children and adolescents with disabilities. (Nov, The Lancet Regional Health)


Does the European Care Strategy care about disability? “The council recommendation on long-term care needs first of all to recognise disability support as a topic distinct from care.” (Nov, Social Europe)

Social Protection and the Welfare State: What the EU can do to support persons with disabilities (Mar, EDF)

Rebuilding for sustainability and resilience: strengthening the integrated delivery of long-term care. “ European countries must reorient care models to emphasize person-centredness, user involvement, prevention, healthy ageing and enablement. ” (WHO)

The time to care about care: Responding to changing attitudes, expectations and preferences on long-term care in Europe.:

“Since 2007, the ability of care systems to adequately address evolving care needs has declined: residential care is unaffordable for many, and the supply of community-based services is falling considerably behind a rising demand. Rural communities and poorer individuals bear the brunt of growing capacity gaps, while women are disproportionately affected by the burden of frequent, intensive and undesired informal caregiving spells. ” (link to pdf, Apr, InCare)

Roadmap for user centered funding for long-term care and support. (Mar, UNIC Project)


Georgian court orders government to provide assistant to person with disabilities. (Oct, OC Media)

Pension or disability assistance: an unfair choice? “an older person with disabilities has to choose to receive either a disability benefit or an old-age pension.” (Jun, Development Pathways)


The availability, accessibility, and quality of support services for older persons with disabilities: the formal and informal care services are “not clearly addressing the needs and special characteristics of older persons with disabilities” (Feb, EASPD)


In Tamil Nadu, Unique Disability Identity Cards go missing (Jun, DT Next)

Tangled In Red Tape, The Disability ID Card Process Is Steeped With Gender Barriers. As well as some of the expected implementation issues, this in-depth article discusses how "these problems multiply for women and transgender persons with disabilities." This includes a striking gap in disability card holder percentage of men and women. (Feb, Behan Box)


Government commits to expanding social assurance coverage for disabled people. (Jun, Antara)


Each annual budget brings fear. The disability sector is always a target. (Sep, The Irish Times)


Social protection for disability inclusion in Kenya See also synthesis paper that compares Uganda and Kenya. (Dec, Inclusive Futures)


Disability drives innovation in the design of social support services and access to employment programmes in Kyrgyzstan - socialprotection-pfm (Nov, SP&PFM)

Latin America and the Caribbean

The Buenos Aires Committment recognises the importance of autonomy and choice of persons with disabilities in receiving care. (Nov, Human Rights Watch)


How an OKU card [disability card] benefits persons with disabilities (Aug, Free Malaysia Today)


Access to the Disability Allowance in the Maldives: National coverage and factors affecting uptake: “This research found that 25.6% of people with disabilities across the Maldives are receiving the Disability Allowance. Coverage was lowest for women, older adults, people living in the capital (Malé), wealthier households and people with sensory impairments. Factors affecting uptake included lack of information about the programme, perceptions of disability and eligibility criteria, geographical and financial factors, and stigma.” (May, Global Social Policy)

Process evaluation of the Disability Allowance programme in the Maldives. “Most importantly, the absence of linkages with the Medical Welfare scheme that provides assistive devices potentially limits the likelihood of the programme achieving intended objectives.” (Mar, International Social Security Review)

New Zealand

Removing Disabling Experiences a vision for a person-directed system that will “provide four enforceable rights to social and income support, habilitation, and healthcare.” (Aug, Warren Forster)

Big gap in support funding between disabled people on Ministry of Health and the national accident compensation scheme. (Aug, Stuff)

How the government asked for social welfare advice, got it, ignored it, and the impact on people with disabilities. (Jun, Stuff)

Disabled people missing out on 'essential' support over relationship status (May, Stuff)


In a leprosy colony residents endure stigma and neglect. “There are 64 leprosy settlements across Nigeria but most are in varying states of disrepair with little to no funding.” The article describes how conditions have deteriorated in one colony since the missionaries who founded the colony then left, but people have remained, and new support is not sufficient. (Jun, Aljazeera)

South Africa

Challenges of caregivers providing care to children with disabilities at non-governmental organisations in Tshwane townships. (Jul, African Journal on Disability)

The support needs of families raising children with intellectual disability. (Jun, African Journal on Disability)


Austerity and identity formation: How welfare cutbacks condition narratives of sickness:

“Interviewees describe extreme stress as a result of their contacts with the Social Insurance Agency (SIA), which results in a perpetual crisis that is renewed with each new denied application. In particular, the sense of not having a future means that it is hard to construct narratives to make sense of one’s situation. To escape the perpetual crisis, some people have politicised their situation, constructing a narrative about themselves as suffering from oppressive politics. Others have escaped by not applying for sick insurance or other social insurances. But generally speaking, the most common effect of being denied sick insurance is an ongoing crisis that leads to deteriorating health.” (Sep, Sociology of Health and Illness)


Disability Inclusion Lifts Rural Ugandan Families From Poverty description of a poverty-reduction programme by BRAC (Jun,

Social protection for disability inclusion in Uganda. See also synthesis paper that compares Uganda and Kenya. (Dec, Inclusive Futures)

United Kingdom

UK government errors denied thousands disability benefits: “Campaigners hit out after data reveals majority of successful appeals were due to Department for Work and Pensions mistakes” (Oct, the Guardian)

Great video on how support workers can enable a social life (Apr, Open Future Learning)

Government spent £440m fighting disability claimants as whistleblowers claim system broken. (Apr, ITV)

Disabled People trapped waiting years for vital home adaptations (Apr, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism)

United States

Social Security uses obsolete job titles to deny benefits to disabled applicants. (Dec, Washington Post)

How Dehumanizing Administrative Burdens Harm Disabled People: “All of the systems are set up to really dehumanize disabled people and not to help us.” (Dec, Center for American Progress)

Social Security disability benefit offices reach breaking point with huge claim backlogs. “State operations that review claims face massive backlogs, leaving disabled Americans waiting months and even years for judgments” (Dec, Washington Post)

‘Impending Intergenerational Crisis’: Americans With Disabilities Lack Long-Term Care Plans. (Nov, Kaiser Health News)

A disability program promised to lift people from poverty. Instead, it left many homeless. (Oct, Salon)

Inside the Kafkaesque Process for Determining Who Gets Federal Disability Benefits. (Aug, Mother Jones)

‘People will die waiting’. America’s system for the disabled is nearing collapse: “Providers for intellectually and developmentally disabled struggle to recruit and retain staff amid soaring inflation, pandemic burnout.” (Aug, Politico)

Ending the Two-Tier System of Disability Benefits. If you're not already familiar with how Supplemental Security Income (SSI) works, this article has the gruesome lowdown: benefits below the federal poverty line, and you are ineligible to receive them if you don't have other earnings or assets over $2000. (Apr, Brown Political Review) See more on how policy punishes disabled people who save more than $2,000 from Full Stack Economics.

The Impacts of Disability Benefits on Employment and Crime Discontinuing benefits for children with disabilities as they become adults “increased criminal charges substantially“. (Apr, NBER)

Data breach may have exposed personal information of Oklahomans on disability aid list (Mar, The Oklahoman)

The Care Crisis Isn’t What You Think "When it comes to disability, we devalue care (both caregiving and paid care work) because we devalue the people who need it." (Jan, Prospect)

One of the awful features of some disability-related benefits is a limit of the assets that a recipient can have. California just raised the assets limits for medicare from 2000 USD to 130,000 USD. (link to pdf, Dec, State of California)