Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Work, Welfare, and the Burden of Disability: Caring for Special Needs of Children in Poor Families

Publication Date

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% 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. [53 PDF pages]

People with Disabilities | Low-Income Populations | Children