The cost of disability is the extra spending needs that people with a disability face in their day-to-day lives that others in society do not face. These extra costs are a direct result of the person’s disability and would not arise otherwise. Research conducted in Ireland and internationally over many years has shown that there can be significant costs of disability. In order to get a better understanding of the extent and composition of these costs, and the way they affect people differently, the Department of Social Protection commissioned Indecon International Research Economists to carry out research into the cost of disability in Ireland. The result of this analysis gives a range of costs of disability in Ireland. Additional costs of disability go across a number of areas of expenditure including:

  • Additional living expenses;
  • Mobility, transport, and communications;
  • Care and assistance services,
  • Equipment, aids and appliances, and
  • Medicines.

The costs vary due to a number of factors, for example, the age of the individual, household type, the ‘nature’ of disability as well as the ‘severity’ of disability.

The Programme for Government commits the Government to use the research into the cost of disability to individuals and families to properly inform the direction of future policy. The findings have implications for many areas of public policy including the delivery of care services, health, housing, education, transport and income supports. This is why a whole-of-Government perspective is needed.

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