Disabilities Among TANF Recipients: Evidence from the NHIS. Part C. Disability and Employment

05/15/2009

Exhibit C1.

Currently Employed by Disability and Population Group

Exhibit C1. Currently Employed by Disability and Population Group. See Long Description for data.

Source:  Authors’ calculations from the National Health Interview Survey, 2005/2006.
Note: Broad definition refers to having any of the adult disabilities included in Part A.
Narrow definition refers to having a self-care or routine activity limitation.

  • For all groups, the percent currently employed is substantially higher among adults without a disability than those with a disability, by either the broad or narrow measure of disability.
  • Only eighteen percent of TANF recipients with a disability are currently employed, using the broad definition of disability, compared to an overall employment rate of 44 percent for TANF recipients without a disability. Results are similar for Food Stamp recipients with disabilities although employment rates for Food Stamp recipients without a disability are higher.
  • Using either definition of disability, more than double the percentage of low-income single mothers with a disability are employed than of either TANF or Food Stamp recipients with a disability. This could be due to different individual characteristics of these populations or a greater need for earnings among those not receiving or eligible for TANF or Food Stamp benefits.
  • The smaller group of individuals meeting the narrow definition of disability has extremely low rates of employment in all populations reflecting both a more severe level of disability and greater eligibility for public disability benefits.

 

Exhibit C2.
Measures of Employment by Disability and Population Group

Percent of population group
Population Group All adults TANF
recipients
Food Stamp
recipients
Low-income
single mothers

Total population without disability

Currently employed 83.14
(0.29)
44.15
(3.13)
59.68
(1.56)
78.96
(0.98)
Currently full-time 72.62
(0.37)
29.70
(3.00)
41.97
(1.60)
66.03
(1.18)
Worked at all last year 86.95
(0.26)
56.41
(3.31)
70.49
(1.47)
85.27
(0.93)

With a disability (broad definition)

Currently employed 55.33
(0.80)
18.23
(3.00)
19.47
(1.51)
43.84
(2.61)
Currently full-time 46.94
(0.80)
11.01
(2.55)
11.29
(1.28)
33.55
(2.43)
Worked at all last year 64.84
(0.80)
35.38
(3.58)
32.56
(1.73)
57.06
(2.55)

With a disability (narrow definition)

Currently employed 16.44
(1.63)
3.80
(2.92)
5.24
(1.75)
12.25
(3.65)
Currently full-time 9.89
(1.35)
0.0 2.63
(1.35)
6.85
(2.51)
Worked at all last year 26.27
(1.90)
25.51
(7.90)
14.38
(2.68)
24.39
(4.95)
Source:  Authors’ calculations from the National Health Interview Survey, 2005/2006.
Note: Broad definition refers to having any of the adult disabilities included in Part A. Narrow definition refers to having a self-care or routine activity limitation.
  • The majority of currently employed TANF and Food Stamp recipients with a disability are working full-time. For example, of the 18 percent of TANF recipients with a disability by our broad definition, 60 percent are working full-time, or 11 percent of all TANF recipients.
  • A quarter to a third of TANF recipients with a disability worked at some point in the past year, using the narrow and broad disability definition respectively.
  • Low-income single mothers’ with a disability generally have substantially higher employment rates than TANF and Food Stamp recipients, by all three measures of employment.

 

Exhibit C3.
Currently Employed by Own and Family Disability and Population Group

Exhibit C3. Currently Employed by Own and Family Disability and Population Group. See Long Description for data.

Source:  Authors’ calculations from the National Health Interview Survey, 2005/2006.
Note: Adult disability in this exhibit refers to the broad definition of disability — having any of the disabilities included in Part A. Rates using the narrow definition (having a self-care or routine activity limitation) are similar. Samples of those with a disability and a family member with a disability were too small to support employment analysis.

 

  • Only a little more than a quarter of TANF recipients who have a family member with a disability are currently working, compared to 44 percent of those without a disability who are working (repeated from Exhibit C1). This same pattern holds true for all the population groups. This suggests that having a family member with a disability has a negative impact on ability to work. Prior research supports this as well (see Loprest and Zedlewski 2006).
  • The employment rate for low-income single mothers who have a family member with a disability is considerably higher than for TANF recipients, 55 percent compared to 28 percent. Again, this could result from differences in the characteristics of these two populations or the impact of receipt of cash assistance on employment.
  • Adults that either have a disability themselves or have a family member with a disability have even lower rates of current employment. For TANF recipients the employment rate is 21 percent.

 

Exhibit C4.
Regression Adjusted Employment by Disability and Population Group – Currently Employed
Population Group All adults TANF
recipients
Food Stamp
recipients
Low-income
Single Mothers
Disability (broad definition), no other family members with disability 62.0 26.7 25.1 51.1
Disability (narrow definition), no other family members with disability 20.4 3.0 6.6 15.3
Family member has disability, head has no disability 73.9 20.1 54.6 68.2
Source:  Authors’ calculations from the National Health Interview Survey, 2005/2006.
Note: Regression adjustment controls for gender, race, ethnicity, age, education, marital status, and disability measure. Broad definition refers to having any of the adult disabilities included in Part A. Narrow definition refers to having a self-care or routine activity limitation.

 

  • Even after controlling for characteristics related to employment that differ across the population groups, the patterns of employment rates by disability remain similar.(7) Employment rates are higher among those with a disability using the broad definition as compared to when using the narrow definition.
  • Regression adjusted employment rates of TANF and Food Stamp recipients remain low. Only 27 percent of TANF recipients with a disability using the broad definition are working and only 3 percent by the narrow definition. Results for Food Stamps recipients are similar, with 25 percent working using the broad definition and 7 percent using the narrow definition.
  • One-fifth of TANF recipients and somewhat more than half of Food Stamp recipients with a family member with a disability are working. These numbers are lower than the unadjusted rates of employment for these populations without disabilities (see Exhibit C1).
  • While employment rates for all adults and low-income single mothers with disabilities are higher than the two recipient groups, they are still relatively low. Only 61 percent of all adults with a disability using the broad definition are currently working and only 51 percent of low-income single mothers.

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