A few other answers touched on some of this but i didn’t see it put together quite the way i saw it, soo
With the phrase “Coming from a background of poverty”, as i translated it, i would assume it to primarily be a parent/family situation in his past, not a really personal to him situation. Kids don’t have a say in who/what their family is or has. And any charity determining who gets what, is dependent on where they get their information from, and where it goes to (specifically to a family not necessarily one person within a group or to a parent not a child). Also, there are limitations and stipulations like has to seek work if able, and potentially other lawful/moral restrictions.
So one possibility is, someone(s) in the family were… misdiagnosed as able to work when they actually weren’t. They then can’t claim from charities, and can’t hold a job - and trying might make things worse. They might be able to get a second opinion, but… if it was a borderline case, if it didn’t fit a social narrative (as historically visible vs invisible disabilities narratives ran), if they believed they “should” be able to overcome the issue (re mental health misinformation today), self blame or victim blaming, if they or others trusted a doctors diagnosis over an individuals, they might not get one or if softly asked it might be influenced by what was already in the file not a truly independent second opinion. In that case, they don’t get the charity.
(Specific note: something genuinely mistaken would not trigger any precautions aimed at malicious behavior, and it can be hard to untangle when biology is messy and people can be convinced that the inability is a question of fault. Sigh)
Now, there’s implications for the family as a whole. They have to survive on less than what they “should”. Dividing what they do have best they can to cover the extra. Charitable society, and the family should believe those virtues and of course would support their own especially if they can see a genuine struggle. One more thing, though, is others judgements… they know charity is available and so-n-so Didn’t qualify. Isn’t trying. Opinions drop.
But wait there’s more - they have less per person and higher costs, maybe extra expenses to cover whatever that misdiagnoses left out, needs, and so maybe they have to step back from ordinary charity… I’m thinking community things like bake sales or volunteering or whatever. Less funds or time or energy. However, this also serves to distance them from the community.
So now they’re being judged for not -giving as much as they should. Not maintaining community standards or social ties. Are they really part of the social and support networks, if they don’t contribute?? Opinions drop.
And this becomes the whole family issue instead of just the misdiagnosee, because they are supporting each other. So-n-so might be lazy, but… rest of the family is, supporting them? Enabling them? Letting the kids survive on less just because so-n-so didn’t want to put effort in?? Opinions drop.
So charities, don’t want to give. Community doesn’t want to support, and individuals judge heavily that the rest of the family is allowing such behaviors. Uhoh looks like a hard time for that family.
Additional complications - if it’s an invisible/difficult to diagnose health issue, more than one person in the family might have had similar situations/issues, either presently or historically, which affect the family’s reputation and access to charity, and/or spread the resources they do have thinner to cover extra people. And, another factor might be that, given the whole family might be considered actively complicit in supporting so-n-sos “choices”, they might choose not to offer aid to others in the family, or even a child of the family the way they might for shortages from a more “deserving” reason.
And independent of that, a poor reputation might encourage other poor assumptions for the family, like accusations (real or false) of criminal action and so on. Further reducing their presumed eligibility for charities.
And last thing? individuals might start losing faith in each other, the charity system, the medical system, the local community… because something is wrong but what n how to fix it, isn’t clear.
So there would be a poverty, from lack of resources per person but also some of the lack of faith in system or poor community cohesion we sometimes see in underserved communities today. We might see overreliance on system/beliefs by those “escaping” such a family/community. In short that’s a lot of room for human messiness for plot points or character development.