Number of people on disability allowance grew by nearly 6,000 last year

Number of people on disability allowance grew by nearly 6,000 last year
John Dolan, Chief Exexutive Officer, Disability Federation of Ireland. Picture: Maura Hickey

The number of people who receive disability allowance grew by nearly 6,000 last year.

The Disability Federation of Ireland claims people who receive the payment are in poverty.

Disability allowance is a means-tested social welfare payment that’s capped at €203 a week.

The number of people who receive the allowance has grown by nearly 10% over the past two years - from just under 134,000 in 2017, to nearly 141,000 in 2018, to almost 147,000 last year.

In 2019, almost a quarter of the recipients were in Dublin, while nearly 18,000 were in Cork, just over 8,000 were in Galway and there were marginally fewer in Limerick.

Leitrim had the least, at just over 1,000.

John Dolan, chief executive of the Disability Federation of Ireland, says most people with disabilities have huge financial problems.

“Of the people who are of working age, the great majority of those are living in poverty,” he said.

“The risks of poverty rate for people with disabilities in Ireland was about 37% in 2018.

“And that’s about 10% higher than the EU average.” 

More than €1.7bn was paid out in disability allowance payments last year, which was €119m more than in 2018.

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