If you are disabled then you are much more likely to be living in poverty. Their household income is lower, many households have a strong dependence on SSI or SSDI for a large percentage of their income, and a number of people with a disability do not work. All of those factors present a major challenge as reflected in the data, which shows the poverty rate is about 21.2% for those that disabled and are a working age. If you look at the entire US population, the nation’s poverty rate is about 13.8%.
The data from the Census Bureau factors in income from all sources. It includes public aid, such as SSDI or SSI cash payments. It is also factors in wages from a job, child support, and any other money that is going into the household. All forms of disability financial assistance are considered. Even considering all of that, the discrepancy in poverty between the disabled and others is significant. The disabled’s income is much lower than the nation’s median due to lack of wages, income, reliance on SSI government aid and other factors.
The number of people that this equates too is astounding. The US Census Bureau as well as the Social Security Administration (which administers SSI and SSDI payments) show that about 50 million Americans have some type of disability…or they claim too as some people state they are disabled but it is not medically proven. Therefore about 15% of Americans have one or more disabilities. Lets break down the data further.
• About 45 million Americans have a household income that is below federal government poverty guidelines, whether they are disabled or not.
• Since there are about 50 million people with a disability, and 21% of them live in poverty, about 10 million of the 45 million total Americans in poverty are disabled.
• Therefore the disabled make up about 22 percent of the nation’s total number of people living in poverty. (45 million / 10 million).
Now this is where the data gets a little harder to decipher considering many disabled people live with caregivers, other extended family members, or people who take care of them. They tend not to live independently, so their annual household income may not always be easily determined as it could include other members of the home that are working.
The median family household income in the US is about $58,000 per year according to the census Bureau. For those with a disability, it is about 2/3 of that figure, so about $38,000 per year according to the census bureau. A large chunk of that 38K is due to other members of the home who may work, as SSI and SSDI do not pay that much money per year. In fact, the average SSDI payment is only $1197 per month according to the social security administration, and that equates to around $14,000 per year. Even when considering the disabled may have other people living with them who are working, their household income is still much lower (58K vs. 38K).
There may be some ways for the disabled to increase income, in some cases if their health condition allows it. While many physical and/or mental disabilities may stop someone from consistently working, the federal government does allow people with a disability to work for an income (or self-worth) and collect public aid at the same time. This may not be as well known, so we always try to point that out. As working can not only bring in money, but it can give purpose and self-worth. But this is of course continent on the type of disability and whether it allows any sort of work or not.
In addition, according to various medical experts, a small number of disabilities can either be prevented, controlled and/or minimized by living a healthier lifestyle. For example, exercise, stress relief, eating well can help reduce chances of heart diseases, diabetes, and other medical conditions that could lead to a disability. We always encourage living healthy at needhelppayingbills, and we have articles that talk about how experts say that can save money on medical bills, healthy living can increase income/career opportunities, and more. There is a strong correlation between poverty rates and unhealthy living.