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In The Know: A Fair Shot for Workers with Disabilities

In the Know is a bi-weekly feature on the LEAD Center blog that highlights important resources and information about the employment, policy and economic advancement of people with disabilities. To find even more useful resources, visit the LEAD Center Resource Center


To often, when the topic of policy reform for workers with disabilities arises, focus is placed solely on making improvements to the Social Security Disability Insurance Program.

Yet, as the National Council on Disability notes, "Receipt of Social Security disability benefits is merely the last stop on a long journey that many people with disabilities make from the point of disability onset to the moment at which disability is so severe that work is not possible. All along this journey, individuals encounter the policies and practices of the other systems involved in disability and employment issues."

In the publication, "A Fair Shot for Workers with Disabilities," the Center for American Progress (CAP) explores ways in which policymakers can take action to give workers with disabilities a fair shot at employment and economic stability. 

Existing barriers to this goal include: the added costs of living with a disability; transportation difficulties; insufficient affordable and accessible housing; lack of access to needed supports and services; lack of access to paid leave and sick days; inadequate early intervention support; and savings and ownership penalties. 

The solution? 

CAP identifies the following potential courses of action:

  • Raising the minimum wage
  • Strengthening the Earned Income Tax Credit
  • Expanding Medicaid 
  • Ensuring paid leave and paid sick days
  • Improving access to long-term supports and services
  • Instituting a disabled worker tax credit
  • Adequately funding vocational rehabilitation
  • Creating subsidized employment opportunities 
  • Leveraging early intervention
  • Creating a partial or temporary disability program
  • Reforming asset limits
  • Ensuring adequate affordable, accessible housing
  • Ensuring adequate accessible transportation

Read the full publication: 

"A Fair Shot for Workers with Disabilities"

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