Paying to care: The cost of childhood disability

Barbara Dobson and Sue Middleton

The benefits system recognises that disabled people incur extra costs but little is known about the nature and extent of these costs, particularly for children.

This report describes minimum essential budget standards for children of differing ages and with a range of disabilities. Using a new and innovative approach, the budget standards were drawn up by almost 300 parents of severely disabled children. The study concludes that the minimum cost of raising a severely disabled child is, on average, three times more than for a child without a disability.

The authors describe the priorities and experiences which influenced the parents' decisions. They examine the implications of the findings for benefit provision and service delivery.