Document Type

Working Paper






Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation

Funding ID

grant #94ASPE263A


Income Security Policy Series


The authors are grateful to Karin D’Agostino for creative assistance with charts and tables, and to Douglas A. Wolf for econometric advice and assistance with statistical analyses.


Economic Policy | Economics | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Public Policy


This paper addresses issues which arise at the juncture of welfare and disability policies. Using preliminary data from a recent survey of current and recent AFDC recipients in California, we find that disabilities and chronic health problems affect the mothers or children in 43 percent of all households in the AFDC system. The presence of one or more children with disabilities or chronic illnesses is found to have an impact on the economic well-being of families, with increased levels of direct hardship reported by families caring for one or more severely impaired children. Potential causes of higher levels of hardship are examined by considering the impact of direct expenses associated with the care of the child(ren) and reductions in the mother’s probability of paid employment. SSI receipt is found to have a modest antipoverty effect for families with special needs children, reducing the prevalence of poverty and extreme poverty for families even after the additional direct costs of caring for these children are considered.


1061 1843

Additional Information

Policy studies paper no.12


Local Input

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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