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Capitol Hill Informational Briefings

August 2, 2011 - "Innovative Legislative Strategies for Promoting Economic Advancement of Persons with Disabilities in the 112th Congress"

One in five adults living in the U.S. have a disability, and over 22 million families nationwide have a member with a disability. Disability cuts across race, gender, ethnicity, age and geography. Only 21% of taxpayers with disabilities have incomes over $40,000. As of June of 2011 14.4% of the entire U.S. disability population is unemployed, in contrast to the national average unemployment rate of 9.4%. Working-age adults with disabilities are 3 times more likely than their nondisabled peers to live at or below the poverty line. Unlike most Americans, people with disabilities have no tax-advantaged vehicles to save for future expenses and face barriers to asset accumulation that ties access to public benefits (supplemental security income, health care and housing assistance) to eligibility requirements that prohibit savings. Fortunately, there are a number of progressive legislative proposals that have been introduced in the 112th Congress that will address many of the existing policy barriers that impede the potential of citizens with disabilities to advance economically. The purpose of the forum is to educate legislative staff on various legislative proposals aimed at improving the economic opportunities of citizens with disabilities. This forum is particularly designed for legislative staff and policy stakeholders who work on employment, financial savings/taxation, and disability policy issues.

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April 23, 2010 - "Innovative Public Policy Strategies aimed at Promoting the Economic Advancement of Individuals with Disabilities"

This breifing, held at the Rayburn House building, served as an overview of an array of legislative proposals currently before Congress, including:

  • Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (H.R. 1205/S.493)
  • SSI Savers Act (H.R. 4937)
  • Savings for Working Families Act (H.R. 2277/S.985)
  • Savings for American Families' Future Act (H.R. 1961/S.3090)

The briefing also highlighted concerns about the archaic asset and income limits tied to eligibility of critical federal programs upon which many low-income workers with disabilities rely, including SSI and Medicaid.

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