Poverty Among Adults with Disabilities: Barriers to Promoting Asset Accumulation in Individual Development Accounts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Adults with disabilities disproportionally experience poverty. We examine one novel strategy to promote economic well-being among adults with disabilities living in or near poverty, namely Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). IDAs are designed to help individuals save money and subsequently accumulate assets. Although adults with disabilities account for the majority of IDA participants, scant attention has been paid to their IDA saving performance. We describe the significance of accumulating assets, particularly as it relates to adults with disabilities. We then map the nature of IDA programs and analyze barriers to participation in IDAs and asset accumulation related to conflicting federal policies and a lack of sensitivity to disability-specific needs. We conclude by offering policy recommendations from our analysis, including the need to eliminate the means-tests used in welfare policies, de-linking participation in IDAs from employment status, and involving people with disabilities in designing and evaluating asset accumulation policies and programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)376-385
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Community Psychology
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2010

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Poverty
assets
disability
poverty
Disabled Persons
Economics
federal policy
participation
social policy
money
well-being
lack
performance
economics
experience

Keywords

  • Asset accumulation
  • Individual development accounts
  • People with disabilities
  • Poverty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Applied Psychology
  • Health(social science)

Cite this

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abstract = "Adults with disabilities disproportionally experience poverty. We examine one novel strategy to promote economic well-being among adults with disabilities living in or near poverty, namely Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). IDAs are designed to help individuals save money and subsequently accumulate assets. Although adults with disabilities account for the majority of IDA participants, scant attention has been paid to their IDA saving performance. We describe the significance of accumulating assets, particularly as it relates to adults with disabilities. We then map the nature of IDA programs and analyze barriers to participation in IDAs and asset accumulation related to conflicting federal policies and a lack of sensitivity to disability-specific needs. We conclude by offering policy recommendations from our analysis, including the need to eliminate the means-tests used in welfare policies, de-linking participation in IDAs from employment status, and involving people with disabilities in designing and evaluating asset accumulation policies and programs.",
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