As the 25th anniversary of Olmstead nears, more than one-in-10 working age adults have a disability and most do not receive public disability income.
Over one-in-10 working-age adults reported having a disability in 2022. A disability is defined as having difficulty with hearing, vision, cognition, ambulation, self-care, or independent living, according to KFF’s examination of data on people with disabilities from the American Community Survey.
Fewer than a third of working-age adults with disabilities receive any income from social security programs, including Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. Meanwhile, they are almost twice as likely to have income below 200% Federal Poverty Level compared with adults without disabilities. They are also more likely to have Medicaid and could face greater paperwork challenges during Medicaid redeterminations.
In many states, COVID-era policies that increased access to home and community-based services are ending, which may create additional barriers to care for some people with disabilities.
As people with disabilities struggle to access and maintain the supports and services they need, average wait times for disability claims are at an all-time high and current recipients may be missing benefit payments on account of past clerical errors.
A new proposed rule could address discrimination against people with disabilities in medical treatment and child welfare programs, establish accessibility standards for web and mobile delivery of health and human services benefits, and establish enforceable standards for accessible medical equipment. It would also codify the Olmstead court decision that requires services to be provided in the most integrated setting appropriate.