A helping hand: The safety net for China’s disabled

Social security for people with disabilities has improved steadily in China, according to a white paper released by the State Council Information Office on Thursday.

The white paper on China’s protection of the rights and interests of persons with disabilities over the past 70 years reports that people living with disabilities now have a better quality of life and sense of gain due to social assistance, welfare and insurance benefits.

In the management and renovation of public rental housing and old residential areas in urban areas, priority is given to poor people with disabilities. By March 2018, over 9 million disabled people had received urban or rural subsistence allowances and 620,000 had public rental housing security over the course of the year.

By 2018, the central finance had supported the renovation of nearly 1.77 million dilapidated rural houses where one or more disabled members was living.

Many poor disabled people are also eligible medical assistance cover, and subsidies for basic medical insurance. Some provinces and municipalities give preferential policies and subsidies to low-income families with disabled members for water, electricity, gas and heating, and other basic living expenses.

Since the targeted poverty alleviation strategy was established, the government has registered more than 6 million disabled people as living in poverty-stricken households in need of help. By 2018, that number had dropped to 1.7 million.