Long-Term Poverty and Disability Among Working-Age Adults
The authors use longitudinal data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation spanning 1996 to 1999 to estimate the prevalence of short- and long-term poverty among working-age people with and without disabilities. Depending on the disability measure used, annual poverty rates are two to five times higher among people with disabilities, compared to those without disabilities. Relative long-term poverty rates among those with disabilities are much higher than relative short-term poverty rates. People with disabilities represented 47 percent of those in poverty in 1997 according to an annual measure of poverty, and 65 percent of those in poverty according to a long-term measure. Disability may receive little attention in the poverty literature because most statistics are based on short-term measures, which partially mask the strong relationship between long-term poverty and long-term disability, as well as outdated perceptions of the relationship between disability and the ability to work.