Report: Coronavirus, the social impacts on disabled people Feb 2021

In February 2021, among people aged 16 years and over in Great Britain:

  • A larger proportion of disabled people (78%) than non-disabled people (69%), said they were worried (very or somewhat) about the effect that the coronavirus (COVID-19) was having on their life; for disabled people this proportion was lower than in September 2020 (83%).
  • Disabled people more often indicated coronavirus had affected their life than non-disabled people in ways such as their health (35% for disabled people, compared with 12% for non-disabled people), access to healthcare for non-coronavirus related issues (40% compared with 19%), well-being (65% compared with 50%) and access to groceries, medication and essentials (27% compared with 12%).
  • Feeling stressed or anxious, feeling bored and feeling worried about the future were the well-being concerns most frequently cited by both disabled (67%, 62% and 57% respectively) and non-disabled people (54%, 63% and 52% respectively) in February 2021; feeling bored has increasingly been reported by both disabled (43% to 62%) and non-disabled (42% to 63%) people with well-being concern since September 2020.
  • Among people who indicated coronavirus affected their well-being, disabled people more frequently than non-disabled people specified that the coronavirus was making their mental health worse (46% for disabled people and 29% for non-disabled people), they are feeling like a burden on others (25% and 10%), they are feeling stressed and anxious (67% and 54%) or they are feeling lonely (49% and 37%).
  • Disabled people had on average poorer well-being ratings than non-disabled people across all four well-being measures (life satisfaction, feeling that things done in life are worthwhile, happiness and anxiety).
  • For both disabled and non-disabled people, life satisfaction and happiness ratings were poorer in February 2021 than in September 2020; compared with a period prior to the coronavirus pandemic (in the year ending June 2019), all well-being ratings of disabled and non-disabled people remained poorer in February 2021.
  • Disabled people tended to be less optimistic than non-disabled people about life returning to normal in the short term: around a fifth (20%) of disabled people compared with over a quarter (27%) of non-disabled people thought that life will return to normal in less than six months.
  • Positive sentiment towards the vaccine was high among both disabled and non-disabled people: 94% of both disabled and non-disabled people reported they had now either received at least one dose of a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine, were awaiting one, or would be likely (very or fairly likely) to have a vaccine if offered.

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