Access to Disability Data

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Chartbook on Women and Disability

Section 3: Women: Disability, work, income and benefits

3.7. Do women and men with a work disability differ in benefits they receive?

Among people with a work disability in 1995, women received Social Security benefits at lower rates than men (25.6% of women, 30.6% of men). However, higher percentages of women receive need-based benefits, awarded only to people below a certain income level. More women than men receive food stamps (29.1% of women, 19.8% of men). More than one-third of women with a work disability receive Medicaid benefits, compared to about one-quarter of men with a work disability (36.2% of women, 27.2% of men). Higher percentages of work-disabled women live in public housing (6.8% of women; 4.4% of men) and subsidized housing (4.6% of women, 2.7% of men). These differences may be explained by a number of factors. Men may be more likely to have worked in jobs that make them eligible for Social Security benefits. Women's lower earnings are another factor. And, as described later in Section 4, women's higher rates of caring for children under 18 may make women eligible for more need-based benefits, compared to men.

Among people with a work disability, women have lower rates of Social Security income, but higher rates of other need-based benefits.

Vertical bar chart. Go to Data Table for Figure 16 for the data values shown in this chart.

Figure 16: Percentage of people with work disability participating in assistance programs, by gender

Data Table for Figure 16

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census (1997), Table 599, p. 384.

Surveys: CPS, 1995

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