“Make Work Pay for People with Disabilities Report” Launched

April 6 2017


“Make Work Pay for People with Disabilities Report” launched this morning at the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Castle.

The Disability Federation of Ireland, DFI, today welcomed the 24 recommendations in the report, saying if implemented they could clear a path towards work and reduce dependence on State services by people with disabilities.

Especially welcome are recommendations to:

  • Increase the income people can earn before losing their medical card.
  • Allow people to keep their free travel pass for five years following taking-up employment.
  • Create more flexibility in the social welfare system so that people can get benefits reinstated quickly if a job does not work out.

These initiatives would be significant as DFI has repeatedly highlighted the huge risk people with disabilities take when "they decide to take up work, whether it is part time or full time work.

At stake are hard won State supports such as medical cards, free travel, and supplementary payments which are essential to supporting people on a day to day basis. Up to now, if someone risks going back to work, these supports disappear immediately and can be difficult, if not impossible to reinstate.

In allowing people with disabilities to take a chance on a job we move closer to the equality aspired to in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Persons with Disabilities, UN CRPD, Article, the 27, the Right to Work.

The latest figures from the ESRI* show a worsening, not an improving situation for people with disabilities re access to the labour market. In addition the March report showed most people with disabilities had worked at some stage (82%) and were twice as likely to leave work.

DFI’s Employment spokesperson Joan O ‘Donnell said “We know that people with disabilities want to work if the proper State supports are in place to help them to do so. As we move towards ratification of the UN CRPD we also want to welcome today’s report as a move towards full inclusion and equality for people with disabilities. Work is essential for a person’s full inclusion, for their self-esteem and for a decent standard of living for this most vulnerable group”.