Federal program expenditures for

working-age people with disabilities



N. Goodman and David C Stapleton





Public assistance programs are important sources of support for working-age people with disabilities in the United States. Using a variety of information sources, the authors estimate that the federal government spent $226 billion in 2002 on working-age people with disabilities, including both cash and in-kind benefits. These expenditures account for about 2.2 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) and 11.3 percent of all federal outlays. States contributed an additional $50 billion under federal-state programs. The bulk of these expenditures provided income support and health care to working-age people with disabilities who were not employed or had very low earnings. The authors provide a detailed accounting of the expenditures and question whether the distribution of expenditures is properly aligned with the evolving disability paradigm.


For information about the full text please contact Anne Sieverding at acs5@cornell.edu.




For more information contact:

Cornell University 

School Industrial and Labor Relations

Employment and Disability Institute 

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