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Ways to address poverty among those living with disabilities

Whether you are born with a disability or acquired one later in life due to an injury, illness or medical condition, it is likely this disability is anything but easy. In fact, those living with disabilities sin Florida and elsewhere are frequently faced with challenges, such as being unable to work, care for his or herself or return to their old life. This can significantly impact a person's quality of life and ability to meet his or her basic needs, such as food, shelter and medical care.

For most Americans living with disabilities, he or she is faced with significant barriers preventing them from having economic success. It is not only a person's disability that prevents the from working, it is the system that has low expectations for those living with disabilities, discrimination against these individuals and limited employment opportunities that provide upward financial mobility for disabled individuals.

According to recent statistics, working age adults with disabilities are found to be twice as likely to live in poverty than those in the same age category without disabilities. The poverty rate for those living with disabilities in 28 percent while the rate for those without is 13 percent. These rates are compounded when taking into consideration other factors and considerations, including gender, communities of color and level of education.

In order to address this rate of poverty among those living with disabilities, certain legislation reforms have been recommended. This includes an expansion of Earned Income Tax Credit, allowing loan forgiveness funds to be disregarded for tax purposes, expand eligibility requirements and benefits under the ABLE Act, modernize the SSI program and criteria for it, build financial capability for youth and adults with disabilities, create financial incentives for state that actively pursue opportunities for competitive integrated employment, educate people with disabilities about other programs such as the Ticket to Work program, crate a national Medicaid buy-in program and strengthening the Volunteer Income Tax assistance program.

While these changes in policy could be very beneficial for those living with disabilities, the truth of the matter is that these individuals depend on government programs to meet their financial needs. That is why it is important that individuals living with disabilities understand how to qualify and apply for SSD benefits.

Source: Huffington Post, "Addressing Poverty Among The Disability Community - One Policy At A Time," Michael Morris, Jan. 27, 2017

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