Lack of research and asset-building programs leaves many disabled persons in a financial and social limbo

The straightforward solution for many people living in poverty is building savings. For the 9 million disabled Americans living in poverty, the answer isn’t as simple. “The poverty rate among Americans with disabilities is nearly double that of persons without disabilities, and while there is a complex web of federal and state-based programs offering financial assistance to eligible persons with disabilities, policy rules often preclude the accumulation of assets, which are often key for exiting poverty,” says Michelle Putnam, Ph.D., assistant professor of social work at Washington University. “”New research and public policies have the potential to help people with disabilities to have greater economic resources and become more integrated into their communities.” More …

Welfare to work leaves some recipients without the proper means to live, says expert

Welfare to work leaves some out in the coldThe Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 dramatically changed the nation’s welfare rules. The act ended low-income families’ entitlement to cash assistance and changed the welfare program from a system of income support to one based on work. “Unfortunately, one of the consequences of this legislation is that a segment of welfare recipients, probably the most disadvantaged group, left or were forced to leave welfare without having the proper means to live,” says Yunju Nam, Ph.D., assistant professor at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis.

Pollak receives grant from MacArthur Foundation

A grant for $550,000 from the MacArthur Foundation will allow the MacArthur Network on the Family and the Economy to finish its long term research project which investigates the dynamics of family functioning and the well-being of children born to unmarried parents. Robert Pollak, Ph.D., Hernreich Distinguished Professor of Economics in arts & sciences and the John M. Olin School of Business, co-directs the Network, which brings together 13 scholars in economics, sociology, developmental psychology and public policy to advance understanding of the connections between families, labor markets and the economy as a whole.