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Income support for parents of children with chronic conditions and disability: where do we draw the line? A policy review
  1. Clara Chua,
  2. Claudia Bull,
  3. Emily Joy Callander
  1. School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Professor Emily Joy Callander, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC 3004, Australia; emily.callander{at}monash.edu

Abstract

Objective The aim of this review was to identify and describe whether parents who have had to stop paid employment to care for a child with a chronic condition or disability are eligible for unemployment, family and children, and disability and carer government-provided financial benefits.

Design Policy review.

Setting Group of seven high-income countries.

Main outcome measures All policies related to unemployment, family and children, and disability and carer benefits were included. Information regarding the policy type and description, parent/carer qualification, amount of financial support payable, eligibility criteria and information source were extracted. Payment schedules were converted into 2020 US dollars, using Purchasing Power Parities. Maximum monthly benefit payments were compared with standardised per capita monthly costs of living to determine payment support suitability.

Results Fifty-eight policies relevant to unemployment, family and children, and disability and carer benefit supports were identified. Germany had the highest number of welfare policies for individuals not in employment (n=11), followed by the USA (n=6). Parents or carers of children with chronic conditions or disability who were not in employment qualified for 31 of the 58 policies (53.4%). Most policies required a child to have an impaired ability to function, not just a chronic condition or disability.

Conclusions Greater support for parents and carers to continue their paid employment alongside caring responsibilities is necessary. Graded benefit schedules will also be critical to supporting the spectrum of childhood chronic conditions and disability, and the subsequent spectrum of caring responsibility.

  • child health
  • child welfare

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplemental information.

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Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplemental information.

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Footnotes

  • Twitter @EmilyCallander

  • Contributors CC—conceptualisation, methodology, formal analysis, investigation, writing (original draft) and writing (review and editing). CB—investigation and writing (review and editing). EJC—conceptualisation, methodology, formal analysis, investigation, writing (original draft), writing (review and editing) and supervision. EC acts as guarantor.

  • Funding EJC receives salary support from a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Career Development Fellowship.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.

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