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Chartbook on Work and Disability

Section 4: Work-related Resources

4.7. What are the sources of income and benefits for working-age people with disabilities?

People with a disability, ages 16-64 years, are more likely to receive means-tested income (primarily from SSI) and less likely to receive earned income or asset income (e.g. from investments), compared to people with no disability. Among working-age people with a disability, 16.5% receive Social Security disability or retirement income, and this number rises to 30.3% for people with a severe disability. In the category of means-tested income, 10.6% of people with a disability and 22.3% of people with a severe disability receive SSI.

Given the lower employment rates of people with disabilities, it is not surprising that people with a disability are less likely to receive wage or salary income. Only 42.9% of people with a disability had any income from a first or primary job, compared to 66.4% of people with no disability. In terms of average monthly income from a primary job, people with a disability earned nearly 57% less ($779 per month for people with a disability, compared to $1368 for people with no disability).

People with a disability are less likely to receive earnings and more likely to receive means-tested income.

Bar graph showing the major sources of income for people with and without disabilities.

Figure 28: Percentage of people receiving income from hour major sources of income, by disability status, 16-64 years

Source: Kruse (1997), Tables 8 and 9.

Surveys: SIPP, 1993-94.

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