Panel: Disability and Economic Well Being

Thursday, November 8, 2012: 1:15 PM-2:45 PM
Washington (Sheraton Baltimore City Center Hotel)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Organizers:  Sophie Mitra, Fordham University
Moderators:  Austin Nichols, The Urban Institute
Chairs:  Gina Livermore, Mathematica Policy Research

This session deals with the economic well being of persons with disabilities. It has three papers. The first paper by Meyer and Mok uses longitudinal data for the period 1968-2005 for a sample of male household heads. The paper examines how the extent of disability affects a range of outcomes, including earnings, income, and consumption. The authors divide the disabled along two dimensions based on the persistence and severity of their work-limiting condition. The authors find that disability prevalence is high and that the economic consequences of disability are frequently profound. Ten years after disability onset, a person with a chronic and severe disability on average experiences a 68 percent decline in earnings, a 32 percent decline in after-tax income, a 22 percent decline in food and housing consumption and a 21 percent decline in food consumption. The authors also find the various economic consequences differ sharply across disability groups. The outcome declines for those with a chronic and severe disability are often more than twice as large as those for the average disabled. In addition, the findings show the partial and incomplete roles that individual savings, family support and social insurance play in reducing the consumption drop that follows disability. The second paper by Ben-Shalom and Stapleton examines the economic well being of Disabled Workers and Disabled Adult Children (DAC) who were ages 18 to 39 when first awarded benefits. Using administrative data, it produces statistics on their characteristics, employment, earnings, time in non-payment status following suspension or termination for work, and mortality, for the period between 1996 and 2009. The analysis will include: an examination of trends in key outcomes separately for different subgroups of particular interest, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries who eventually earn enough to enter SSDI, other SSDI workers, and DAC; production of statistics for 11 successive annual award cohorts (1996 through 2006), following each through 2009; analysis of trends in their characteristics; and examination of variation across states. The third paper by Brucker and Mitra aims to investigate the association between disability and economic deprivation in the US. This project has two specific aims: (1) identify whether disability is a correlate of economic deprivation in several dimensions of economic well being (e.g. employment, education, housing, asset ownership, wealth); (2) Identify whether disability is a correlate of poverty when poverty is measured (i) traditionally based on income only; (ii) using the recently released alternate poverty measure of the Census Bureau and (iii) using a multidimensional poverty measure. The paper uses the Current Population Survey (CPS) for an initial exploration of poverty dimensions. The CPS includes disabilty measures as well as information about several dimensions of economic well being (e.g. net wealth, housing, etc.).

Disability, Earnings, Income and Consumption
Bruce Meyer, University of Chicago and Wallace Mok, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Disability and Poverty: A Multidimensional Assessment
Debra Brucker, University of New Hampshire and Sophie Mitra, Fordham University

Trends In Longitudinal Statistics for Young Social Security Disability Awardees
Yonatan Ben-Shalom and David Stapleton, Mathematica Policy Research

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