Living with a disability is very expensive – even with government assistance

by Zachary Morris, Nanette Goodman and Stephen McGarity: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Edward Mitchell is 34 years old and lives in Jackson, Tennessee, with a spinal cord injury caused by a hit-and-run accident that happened when he was 17. He has plenty of expenses that all Americans have, like groceries and utilities. But to maintain his independence, he also has to pay for home modifications to accommodate his wheelchair, personal nursing care, dictation tools to help him write and adjustments to his car so he can drive himself to work.

He is just one of the 20 million working-age adults living with disabilities in the U.S., for whom it takes more money to make ends meet because of the additional expenses they face every day.

In a recent working paper published with the National Disability Institute, a nonprofit organization that works to build a better financial future for people with disabilities and their families, we estimated the amount of extra costs associated with living with a disability for Americans ages 18 to 69 years old.

Using data from four nationally representative surveys, we found that adults with disabilities require, on average, 28% more income to achieve an identical standard of living as a household of the same size and income where no one has disabilities—and that’s on top of what is already covered and provided by government programs offering disability benefits. At the median U.S. income level, that amounts to an additional US$17,690 per year.

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