Dealing with the life changes and health effects of a disability can be difficult even under the best of circumstances. Economic difficulties can make it even more challenging. Unfortunately, as a recent government report indicates, many sufferers of disabilities are in a tough financial situation.
The report was from the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee of the U.S. Senate. According to the report, around 29 percent of disabled Americans live in poverty and the occurrence level of poverty among disabled Americans is about double that of Americans who do not have disabilities.
Many things are pointed to as contributing to the high poverty rate among disabled individuals.
One is relatively low levels of workforce participation among disabled individuals. The workforce participation rate for working-age disabled Americans is almost fifty percentage points lower than the participation rate for Americans without disabilities.
One barrier that disabled individuals, sadly, sometimes encounter when it comes to participating in the workforce is prejudice and discrimination. Disability sufferers who are capable of working are sometimes turned down for jobs based on unfair stereotypes or other discriminatory considerations by employers. Here in America, a great deal of effort has been put towards completely destroying this barrier, but more work is still needed on this front.
Another barrier to workforce participation for some disability sufferers is the nature of the disability they suffer from. There are some disabilities that simply make working impossible.
One source of help that disabled individuals who are unable to work due to the nature of their impairment and who are in dire financial straits may have available to them are Supplemental Security Income benefits. Disabled individuals who are wondering if they would meet the qualification requirements for such benefits should think about having a conversation with an experienced disability attorney.
Source: Disability Scoop, “Report: Nearly 1 In 3 With Disabilities In Poverty,” Shaun Heasley, Sept. 18, 2014