Sinn Féin MLA Oliver McMullan has said that he is concerned that many families with disabled children will go without after the Family Fund notified him that it has no more funds to allocate in 2014.
Mr. McMullan said,
“The Family Fund has provided families of children with disabilities grants in order to supply equipment that will improve the lives of these disabled children.
“I am disappointed that the Family Fund has informed me that all the monies has been distributed and up to 1100 families who have applied for a grant will now miss out.
‘”The reduction of the grant in 2011 of 11.25% has had a terrible impact on those families on low incomes who require items such as bed clothing, clothing, kitchen appliances or learning tools.
“The number of families unable to access this funding has grown from 400 in 2011/12 to 1100 this year an increase of nearly 300% in two years.
“Many of these families include carers who are either elderly or unable to take up employment due to their caring responsibilities and are therefore already under financial stress.
“I have now submitted a question to the Minister of Health Mr. Edwin Poots asking him if he will reinstate the monies that have been cut enabling all families to access the grant.
“Failure to increase the family fund back to the previous level will again attack the most vulnerable in our society and Mr. Poots must act now to ensure that these 1100 families have the bare necessities to care for their loved one.”