Parents of Children with Disabilities: Statistics in France

On November 6, 2020, statistics were published on the social and economic level of French households having one or more children with a disability. The study was carried out by the “DREES” (Directorate of Research, Evaluation and Statistics) for the years 2016 and 2017.

The report found that the parents who receive the Disability Living Allowance (known as “AAEH” in France) are older than other parents. This could sometimes be due to the delay in diagnosing a child’s disability. According to the statistics, when comparing children under the age of 20: “Six out of 10 mothers who receive disability benefits are aged 40 or older, compared to 5 out of 10 for other mothers. The statistics are similar for fathers: 7 out of 10 are 40 or older, compared to 6 out of 10 for other fathers.”

Single-parent households account for 30% of those who receive a disability allowance, thus “7 points higher than other families with children under the age of 20.”

In addition, those from underprivileged backgrounds are more likely to receive disability benefits. The poverty could result from the fact that a mother with a handicapped child has little time to find a new partner, or from profound cognitive or psychological disorders, which become apparent during schooling.

The report also shows that in households with a child having a disability, one of the parents does not work, and in single-parent households, 51% do not have a professional activity. The statistics reported that “42% of mothers with a disabled child are employed on a part-time basis compared to 31% of other mothers”.

As a conclusion, the report shows that “24% of households receiving disability benefits live below the level of poverty line, compared to 17% of other households with children under the age of 20”.

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