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19 Million Working-Age Americans Have a Disability that Limits or Prevents Work. Most Are Poor or Low-Income.

More than 19 million working—age Americans-10.9 percent of people ages 21 to 64—have a work disability, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau's March 2008 Current Population Survey (CPS). People with disabilities are often at a distinct disadvantage in the labor market. A key challenge facing policymakers is how to design public programs—and encourage private employers—to effectively support people with disabilities in their efforts to secure and retain employment and achieve economic self-sufficiency. Public and private insurance programs, and public assistance programs, may replace lost income and provide health insurance coverage for workers with severe disabilities, but programs need to be improved both to provide more timely and adequate assistance to people who cannot work and to provide needed supports to people with disabilities who can work. (6 pages)

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