Addressing Disability-related Costs through Social Protection Systems


International Sign Language Interpretation was offered for this session.

Because of barriers in infrastructure, transports, services, and the workplace as well as lack of support, persons with disabilities and their families must spend more than those without disabilities to access essential services or achieve basic social and economic participation. 

In addition to having to spend more to achieve the same standards of living, they also tend to earn less income due to barriers in employment and opportunity costs incurred by family members providing support. Together, those additional expenses and forgone income constitute the disability-related costs which may drive people in poverty and prevent them to seize economic opportunities for sustainable escape from poverty. 

Understanding disability-related costs is critical to building social protection systems that truly support inclusion, participation, and sustainable escape from poverty of persons with disabilities across the life cycle. It challenges some usual approaches with regards to targeting, mutually exclusive benefits, and focus on incapacity to work rather than support to inclusion. 

Supporting the dissemination of a background paper, the webinar presented the diversity of disability-related costs (see video) and the role of different methods used to assess them. It also presented some practices of accounting for disability costs in the design of mainstream social protection schemes as well as how low and middle-income countries can progressively build the combination of cash transfers, concessions, and services needed to address them.



Alexandre Cote, UNPRDP-ILO-UNICEF Inclusive Social Protection Initiative, Understanding disability-related costs for better social protection systems.

Ludovico Carraro, FCDO-GDC SPACE initiative, Accounting for disablity related costs in design of mainstream family assistance schemes, the case of Moldova and Mongolia.

Bimbika Sijapati Bassnet and Mercoledi Nasiir, Prospera program, Supporting a survey to estimate the good and services required for basic participation in Indonesia.

Sawang Srisom, Independent Expert, How social protection systems can progressively address disability-related costs: the case of Thailand. 

Josh Wakaniyasi, President of Fiji Federation of Persons with Disabilities, Not either or Disability allowance and economic empowerment in Fiji.


Moderator: Felicity O’Brien, DFAT


This was the second webinar of the Disability Inclusive Social Protection Series. The series is organised by Australia DFAT in partnership with the ILO-UNICEF inclusive social protection initiative supported by the UNPRPD COVID-19 joint program.