Medical Express’s recent article, “The hidden extra costs of living with a disability,” explores a recent international review by the Disability and Health Journal on the intersection of poverty and disability. While disability is perceived as rare, the World Health Organization estimates that one in seven adults globally have a disability that affects their quality of life. Although many appear to be living above the poverty line, the minimum standard of living used for the general public fails to take into account essential expenses necessary for those with disabilities to survive.
“The problem is that people with disabilities have extra costs of living that people without disabilities do not have. They have higher medical expenses and may need personal assistance or assistive devices, such as wheelchairs or hearing aids,” the article explains. “When this is the case, then some people with disabilities might appear “on paper” to live above the poverty line. But in reality, they don’t have enough money to meet the minimum standard of living captured in that poverty line.”
In severe cases, a disability will prevent someone from working, which is why programs like Social Security disability are so important.
Americans who are unable to work due to a medical condition rely on Social Security disability benefits to help pay for the medical care and essential assistive devices. Despite the current political rhetoric, Social Security disability is not an entitlement, but rather an insurance policy you’ve paid for and deserve to receive if you cannot work because of a disability.
It is crucial that we protect Social Security disability and the rights of America’s most vulnerable. Despite constant and aggressive attacks from government leaders and lawmakers, the Social Security trust fund is working, and taking in more money than it pays out. We need everyone’s help to ensure that the fund remains solvent.
Please visit our Political Action page to contact your elected representatives, and urge them to stand up for your rights by opposing policy changes that would threaten the benefits of everyone who will one day depend on Social Security benefits to enjoy a minimum quality of life.