How much extra income does a working-age person with a disability need to match the same standard of living they would enjoy without a disability?
Researchers at Stony Brook University, the University of Tennessee, the National Disability Institute, and the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing collectively calculated the answer. Their extensive findings concluded that a household with a disabled adult requires an average of 28% more income (or an additional $17,690 a year) to attain the same standard of living as a household without a disabled adult, even after accounting for available assistance programs and services.
United States’ public assistance benefits based on asset and income limits do not calculate the 28% additional cost of the disability itself. As a result, many disabled citizens are mistakenly viewed as financially able and denied supplemental assistance. Safety net programs, such as Federal Poverty Level (FPL) relief, inadvertently assume a household with a disabled person can enjoy the same standard of living as a household without a work disability when both have the same income.
Logically, financial stability is not merely based on income but ultimately on the difference between income and expenses. Adjusted for the additional costs of disability, the FPL poverty rate for households, including an adult with a work disability, would rise from 24% to 35% percent. With an estimated population of 20 million disabled adults, this would increase eligibility by 2.2 million more people.
Disability costs can be separated into two categories: indirect costs and direct costs. Indirect costs include reduced earnings due to employment discrimination or by household members that work reduced hours to provide care and support. Direct costs are those expenditures people make because they have a disability. The highest direct costs are for personal assistance services and health care, where out-of-pocket costs for people with a disability are more than twice as high as those without a disability. Not surprisingly, additional research calculates that people with disabilities spend more on health care. The average annual health care cost for a person with a disability ($13,492) is almost five times higher than for a person without a disability ($2,835), including out-of-pocket costs, which are more than twice as high ($1,053 versus $486).
Resources to help close this gap
Brown & Brown Absence Services Group works directly with ChronovoCare to help make a difference. In addition to the critical SSDI income and Medicare benefits Brown & Brown secures for its clients, ChronovoCare can reduce the cost for a wide range of medical services and products. ChronovoCare is a no-cost medical savings program that can help significantly reduce the cost of the most common medical needs and help reduce the 28% income gap.
Key Program Highlights:
- Free to use – there are no membership fees or requirements.
- Offers savings on prescription drugs, surgeries, and a wide range of common medical products and services, including, but not limited to: diabetic supplies, advanced imaging services, chiropractic care, acupuncture, hearing aids, dental care, and more. For a full list, click here.
- ChronovoCare never sells or shares members’ personal health information.
More information about ChronovoCare through Brown & Brown Absence Services Group can be found here.
Written by Jake Kelly, Executive Director of ChronovoCare. Jake can be reached at [email protected].