New York State Disability Status Report

 

Authors:

Sarah von Schrader

William A. Erickson

Lars Vilhuber

Thomas P. Golden

Employment and Disability Institute

 

The following Status Report is intended to provide information on disability in New York State, focusing on the working-age population (16-64 years old, except where noted).[1] The report presents: 1) estimates of disability prevalence overall and among various groups; 2) indications of where disparities exist in employment rate, educational attainment, and financial status between people with and without disabilities; and 3) characteristics of New York State which may influence employment outcomes for people with disabilities. 

Disability prevalence

The working-age population of New York State is 12,664,000. Of this group, 1,402,000 report having one or more disabilities.  That is, 11.1% of people in New York State report having a disability.[2]

The prevalence of disability in New York State is slightly lower than the national average of 12.3%. Map 1 presents the disability prevalence rate (the percentage of people reporting a disability) in each New York County. The prevalence of disability across New York State counties ranges from a low of 7.2% in Westchester County to a high of 19.0% in Schoharie County.

 

In New York State, 11.2% of women report a disability, as compared with 10.9% of men. Disability prevalence varies across racial and ethnic groups:  10.8% of White, non-Hispanics report at least one disability, compared with 11.5% of racial/ethnic minorities. Looking across race categories, 10.8% of Whites report at least one disability compared with 23.0% of American Indians/Native Alaskans, 13.3% of African Americans/Blacks, and 5.6% of Asians.  [See Table 1 with additional details on disability prevalence by demographic characteristics.]

The most commonly reported disabilities are physical disabilities and employment disabilities (6.5%), while 2.2% percent report a sensory disability, 4.2% report a mental disability, 1.9% report a self-care disability, and 3.0% report a go-outside-home disability.  In New York State, 6.4% of people have two or more of the six types of disability that could be specified. [See Table 2 with additional details on disability prevalence by disability type.]

Map 1: New York Disability Prevalence Rates by County

This is a map of New York State, with Counties color-coded by the prevalence of disability.  You can see that much of New York City and southeast New York has the lowest prevalence, while there is a band of high prevalence running up the middle of the state from the southern border up to the far north.

End Map 1.

Comparing the Status of People with and without Disabilities on Key Indicators

 Employment rate: In New York State, the employment rate for people with disabilities is 33.1%, compared with 72.3% for people without disabilities, a gap of 39.3%. 

 

The corresponding national employment rates are 36.7% and 74.6%, respectively, resulting in a national gap of 37.9%.  In New York State, the employment rate for people with disabilities varies widely across counties, ranging from a low of 26.0% in Bronx County to a high of 46.2% in Columbia County.

The employment rate also varies a great deal by disability type.  In New York State, the employment rate is highest for people with a sensory disability (43.2%) and lowest for people with self-care disability (14.7%). [See Table 2 with additional details on employment rate by disability type.]In general, the employment rates for women and African Americans/Blacks are significantly lower than for men and Whites, respectively. In New York State, this holds as well: the employment rate for women with disabilities is 31.2% compared with 35.0% for men with disabilities. The employment rate for African Americans/Blacks with a disability is 26.4% compared with 35.5% for Whites with a disability. [See Table 3 with additional details on employment rates.]

 

Figure 1: Employment rates

This chart has two bars comparing the employment rates of people with and without disabilities. 

The employment rate of People with disabilities is 33 percent.

The employment rate of people without disabilities is 72 percent.

End Figure 1.

 

It is also of interest to look more closely at characteristics of people who are not working.  In New York State, 8.2% percent of people with disabilities who are not working are actively looking for work, an estimated 67,300 people.  Figure 2 shows the distribution of work history for people with and without disabilities who are not working. [See Table 4 with additional details on people who are not working.]

Figure 2: Work history of people who are not working

This stacked bar chart compares the work histories of people who are not working, by disability status.

Of people with disabilities who are not working:

13 percent were employed in the last 12 months

26 percent were employed between 1 and 5 years ago

60 percent were employed more than 5 years ago or were never employed

Of people without disabilities who are not working:

33 percent were employed in the last 12 months

25 percent were employed between 1 and 5 years ago

42 percent were employed more than 5 years ago, or were never employed.

End Figure 2.

 

Educational Attainment: Among working-age (21-64) people with a disability, 26% are not high school graduates, compared with 11% of people without a disability.

Employment and earnings are both related to educational attainment; that is, people with higher educational attainment are more likely to be employed, earn more, and escape poverty.  Therefore, it is important to be aware of differences in educational attainment that might affect employment rates. As can be seen in Figure 3, among people with disabilities, 60% have only a high school diploma or less, compared with 38% of people without disabilities.  Only 16% of people with disabilities have a some college or higher compared with 36% of people without disabilities. [See Table 5 for additional details on educational attainment.]

Figure 3: Educational Attainment

This stacked bar chart compares the educational attainment of people with and without disabilities.

For people without a disability:

11 percent have less than high school

27 percent are high school graduates

26 percent have some college or an associates degree

36 percent have a bachelors degree or higher

For people with disabilities:

26 percent have less than high school

34 percent are high school graduates

25 percent have some college or an associates degree

16 percent have a bachelors degree or higher.

End figure 3.

 

Figure 4 presents employment rates by educational attainment. As educational attainment increases, the employment rate increases, but the disparity between people with and without disabilities persists.  In New York State among people with less than a high school degree, 22% of people with disabilities are employed compared with 64% without a disability.  For those who have a bachelor’s degree or higher the employment rates are 50% and 84%, respectively. [See Table 6 for additional details on employment rate by educational attainment.]

Figure 4: Employment rates by educational attainment

This chart compares the employment rates of people with and without disabilities, by educational attainment.

 

Of people with less than a high school education:

22 percent of people with disabilities are employed

64 percent of people without disabilities are employed

Of high school graduates:

34 percent of people with disabilities are employed

75 percent of people without disabilities are employed

Of people wtih some college or an associates degree:

40 percent of people with disabilities are employed

78 percent of people without disabilities are employed

Of people with a Bachelor's degree or higher:

50 percent of people with disabilities are employed

84 percent of people without disabilities are employed.

End Figure 4.

 

 

Financial Status: 28.4% of people with disabilities have an income that falls below the federal poverty level; this is almost 2.5 times the poverty rate for people without a disability.[3]  

Poverty status is determined as a function of household income, family size, and age composition. This calculation does not take into account additional expenses that may be associated with disability, such as accessible housing or assistive technology.[4]  As suggested by the poverty rates presented in Figure 5, the median annual household income for households that include a person with a disability is lower ($38,800), than for households that have no people with disabilities ($66,100).

Figure 5: Poverty Rates

This bar chart compares the poverty rates of people with and without disabilities.

People with disabilities have a poverty rate of 28 percent.

People with no disabilities have a poverty rate of 11 percent.

End Figure 5.

The poverty rate varies across different types of disability. In New York State, the highest poverty rate is among people with a mental disability (35.7%) and the lowest poverty rate is among people with a sensory disability (25.5%). [See Table 2 for additional details on poverty status by type of disability.]

Only 20.5% of persons with disabilities are working full-time/full-year (35 hours/week for 50 weeks or more a year) as compared with 55.9% of those without disabilities. When looking at the median earnings of only full-time/full-year workers, differences persist between people with and without disabilities. In New York State, the median income for people with disabilities is $34,500 compared with $41,800 for people without disabilities. As shown in Figure 6 median income increases with educational attainment, but the disparities between people with and without disabilities remain. In New York State among people with a high school diploma or less, median earnings are $28,100 for people with disabilities compared with $30,500 for people without a disability.  For those with a bachelor’s degree or higher, median earnings are $42,100 and $50,800, respectively. [See Tables 5 and 6 for additional details on financial status and educational attainment.]

Figure 6: Median income for full-time/full year workers (in thousands of dollars).

this bar chart compares the median income of people with and without disabilities, broken down by educational attainment.

Of workers with a high school diploma or less:

The median income of people with disabilities is 28,100

The median income of people without disabilities is 30,500.

Of workers with some college or higher:

The median income of people with disabilities is 42,100

The median income of people without disabilities is 50,800.

End Figure 6.

Personal relationships: In New York State, 41.8% of people with disabilities are married compared with 54.9% of people without disabilities.

Marital status is recommended for monitoring by the National Council on Disability, as it is considered a key economic indicator.[5]  The relationship between marital status and financial status is illustrated by observing that in New York State people who are not married are more than 2.5 times more likely to be living below the poverty line than their married counterparts. A person who is married or in a committed relationship may have emotional and other informal supports that are not available from government programs. They may share responsibilities for things such housework and rent with their partner.  [See Table 5 for additional details on marital status.]

Other Factors that May Influence Employment Outcomes for People with Disabilities in New York State

Receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can be a major work disincentive for people with disabilities.  When considering returning to work, they may face loss not only of cash benefits but also health insurance through Medicaid or Medicare. In New York State 20.1% of persons with disabilities receive SSI.

Health insurance coverage has been linked to the quality of care individuals receive.[6]  In New York State, 18.2% of people do not have health insurance, which is slightly lower that the national average of 20.2. The Medicaid Buy-in Working Persons with a Disability (MBI-WPD) Program is an important health insurance program option for people with disabilities. In New York State, an estimated 472,700 people are potentially eligible for this program which is limited to persons age 16-64 with a disability who are US citizens, are not SSI beneficiaries, and live in households at 250% or less of the poverty level.

Lack of access to health care services may make life more difficult for people with disabilities, particularly those with chronic health conditions. New York State has an average of 424 physicians per 100,000 people. With regards to hospital capacity,, New York State has 333 hospital beds per 100,000 people.

Among people with disabilities, lack of transportation is often noted as a barrier to employment.[7] Access to public transportation may reduce that barrier. In New York State, 26.3% or people take public transportation to work. The average travel time to work in New York State is 31.2 minutes. [See Table 7 for additional details on state level factors.]

Appendix

Table 1. New York State: Demographic Characteristics and Disability Prevalence Rates

Demographic Characteristics

Population Estimate

Margin of Error

Disability Prevalence

Margin of Error

Overall

12,664,063

5,169

11.1

0.08

Sex: Male

6,168,351

6,468

10.9

0.12

Sex: Female

6,495,712

6,765

11.2

0.11

Age: 16-34

4,931,766

9,386

6.3

0.12

Age: 35-64

7,732,297

12,194

14.1

0.11

Race/Ethnicity: White alone

8,397,863

12,224

10.8

0.08

Race/Ethnicity: African American/Black alone

1,918,774

5,829

13.3

0.28

Race/Ethnicity: American Indian/Native Alaskan alone

45,234

1,794

23.0

1.58

Race/Ethnicity: Asian alone

940,985

3,646

5.6

0.23

Race/Ethnicity: Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander alone

4,475

787

12.1

5.12

Race/Ethnicity: Other race alone

1,181,507

12,890

12.2

0.31

Race/Ethnicity: Two or more races

175,225

5,244

16.9

0.76

Race/Ethnicity: Hispanic or Latino

2,067,570

2,517

12.3

0.27

Minority Status : White, not Hispanic

7,607,878

4,562

10.8

0.09

Minority Status : Minority

5,056,185

6,894

11.5

0.24

Data Source:  Estimates are for the civilian, non-institutionalized working-age population (16-64 years old) and were calculated using American Community Survey three-year estimates downloaded from the American Fact Finder (http://factfinder.census.gov/). The 2005-2007 ACS three-year estimates are based on data collected between January 2005 and December 2007.

Table 2. New York State: Disability Prevalence, Employment Rates, and Poverty Rates by Type of Disability

Type of Disability

Prevalence

Margin of Error

Employment Rate

Margin of Error

Poverty

Rate

Margin of Error

   Sensory

2.2

0.04

43.2

0.94

25.5

0.76

   Physical

6.5

0.06

28.9

0.46

28.9

0.52

   Mental

4.2

0.05

25.3

0.62

35.7

0.54

   Self-Care

1.9

0.04

14.7

0.67

35.1

0.95

   Go-Outside-Home

3.0

0.05

15.2

0.59

35.5

0.65

   Employment

6.5

0.07

15.6

0.38

33.5

0.45

Data Source:  Estimates are for the civilian, non-institutionalized working-age population (16-64 years old) and were calculated using American Community Survey three-year estimates downloaded from the American Fact Finder (http://factfinder.census.gov/). The 2005-2007 ACS three-year estimates are based on data collected between January 2005 and December 2007.

 

Table 3. New York State: Employment rates for people with and without disabilities by various demographic and educational characteristics

 Characteristics

People with Disabilities

People without Disabilities

Employment Rate

Margin of Error

Employment Rate

Margin of Error

Overall

33.1

0.38

72.3

0.13

 Sex: Male

35.0

0.53

77.6

0.17

Sex:   Female

31.2

0.52

67.3

0.18

Age: 16-34

35.5

0.86

62.7

0.22

Age: 35-64

32.4

0.41

79.0

0.15

Race/Ethnicity:  White alone

35.5

0.55

75.0

0.16

Race/Ethnicity: African American/Black alone

26.4

0.98

67.3

0.43

Race/Ethnicity:  American Indian/Native Alaskan alone

28.2

4.98

69.0

2.57

Race/Ethnicity: Asian alone

37.8

1.73

67.1

0.52

Race/Ethnicity: Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander alone

31.1

20.06

62.7

11.04

Race/Ethnicity:  Other race alone

28.3

1.44

66.9

0.43

Race/Ethnicity:  Two or more races

31.8

2.52

66.6

0.90

Race/Ethnicity:  Hispanic or Latino

28.2

1.09

67.9

0.35

Minority:  Non-minority (White, not Hispanic)

36.3

0.63

75.5

0.16

Minority:  Minority

28.5

1.32

67.5

0.41

 

Data Source:  Estimates are for the civilian, non-institutionalized working-age population (16-64 years old) and were calculated using American Community Survey three-year estimates downloaded from the American Fact Finder (http://factfinder.census.gov/). The 2005-2007 ACS three-year estimates are based on data collected between January 2005 and December 2007.

Table 4. New York State: People who are not working

 

People with a Disability,

 

People without a Disability

 

%

Margin of Error

%

Margin of Error

Job search status: Actively looking for work

8.2

0.40

19.8

0.35

Job search status: Not looking for work

91.8

0.40

80.2

0.35

Work History: Employed in last 12 months

13.5

0.49

32.8

0.42

Work History: Employed in the last 1-5 years

26.3

0.64

24.7

0.38

Work History: Employed more than 5 years ago or never employed

60.2

0.71

42.5

0.44

Data Source:  Estimates are for the civilian, non-institutionalized working-age population (16-64 years old) and were calculated using American Community Survey three-year Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) files. This file is a sample of the actual responses to the American Community Survey.

 

Table 5. New York State: Educational attainment, financial status, and personal relationships by Disability Status

 

People with a Disability

People without a Disability

 

 % or median

Margin of Error

 % or median

Margin of Error

Education: Less than HS

25.6

0.55

11.0

0.14

Education: High school graduate

34.1

0.59

26.9

0.20

Education: Some college or Associate degree

24.8

0.54

26.4

0.20

Education: Bachelors or higher

15.6

0.45

35.8

0.21

Poverty status: below federal poverty line

28.4

0.35

10.6

0.11

Employed, full-time/full-year

20.5

0.44

55.9

0.19

Median annual earnings for full-time/full-year workers

$34,500

$260

$41,800

$920

Marital Status: Married

54.9

0.54

41.8

0.19

Data Source:  Estimates are for the civilian, non-institutionalized working-age population (21-64 years old). With the exception of poverty status, these estimates were calculated using American Community Survey three-year Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) files. This file is a sample of the actual responses to the American Community Survey. Poverty status estimates are for the civilian, non-institutionalized working-age population (16-64 years old) were calculated using American Community Survey three-year estimates downloaded from the American Fact Finder (http://factfinder.census.gov/). The 2005-2007 ACS three-year estimates are based on data collected between January 2005 and December 2007.

Table 6. New York State: Employment rates and Earnings for people with and without disabilities by educational attainment

 

People with a Disability

People without a Disability

 % or median

Margin of Error

 % or median

Margin of Error

Employed: Less than HS

22.4

1.03

63.9

0.65

Employed: High school graduate

33.6

1.01

75.2

0.37

Employed: Some college or Associate degree

40.2

1.23

78.5

0.36

Employed: Bachelors or higher

49.8

1.59

83.7

0.28

Employed, full-time/full-year: High school graduate or less

16.4

0.60

52.0

0.36

Employed, full-time/full-year: Some college or higher

26.6

0.87

58.3

0.28

Median income, employed full-time/full-year: High school graduate or less

$28,100

$980

$30,500

$270

Median income, employed full-time/full-year: Some college or higher

$42,100

$1510

$50,800

$360

Data Source:  Estimates are for the civilian, non-institutionalized working-age population (21-64 years old) were calculated using American Community Survey three-year Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) files. This file is a sample of the actual responses to the American Community Survey.

 

Table 7. New York State Characteristics that May Influence Employment Outcomes for People with Disabilities

Characteristic

New York State

Margin of Error

% of people with disabilities receiving SSI benefits

20.1

0.53

% of people without health insurance[8]

18.2

0.6

Physicians/100,000 people

424

n/a

Hospitals/100,000 people

333

n/a

Mean travel time to work (in minutes)

31.2

0.11

% who take public transportation

26.3

0.16

Data Source:

The percent of people with disabilities receiving SSI was calculated for the civilian, non-institutionalized working-age population (21-64 years old) using American Community Survey three-year (2005-2007) Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) files.

The estimates of percent of people without health insurance are from: www.census.gov/did/www/sahie. These estimates are referred to as "Small Area Health Insurance Estimates" (SAHIE) and are based on models combining data from a variety of sources, including the Annual Social and Economic Supplement of the Current Population Survey, Census 2000, the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program, the County Business Patterns data set and administrative records, such as aggregated federal tax returns and Medicaid participation records." These estimates represent health insurance coverage status for people age 18 to 64 in 2006.

 

Physicians/100,000 people and Hospitals/100,000 people downloaded from Table B8-1 in The US Census Bureau 2007 City and County Data Book (www.census.gov/statab/ccdb/ccdbstcounty.html).

Travel time to work and Percent of workers who take public transportation were calculated using American Community Survey three-year (2005-2007) estimates downloaded from the American Fact Finder (factfinder.census.gov). The estimates of Travel time to work and Percent who take public transportation are based on workers 16 years and older.


A product of:

ilr-edi-r1.ilr.cornell.edu/nymakesworkpay/

Contact Information

Employment and Disability Institute

ILR School / Cornell University

201 Dolgen Hall

Ithaca, New York 14853-3901

607.255.7727 (voice)

607.255.2891 (tty)

607.255.2763 (fax)

ilr_edi@cornell.edu

www.edi.cornell.edu

Partnering Organizations

New York State Office of Mental Health

Employment and Disability Institute (Cornell University)

Burton Blatt Institute (Syracuse University)

 

 



[1]                  Except where noted, this report presents three year estimates (2005-2007) from the American Community Survey (ACS) for the civilian, non-institutionalized working-age population, and individuals of working age are defined as 16-64 years old.  Further information on data sources is presented with the tables in the appendix.

[2]                 The ACS in 2005-2007 includes six questions that are used to identify the population with disabilities. A disability is defined as a report of one of the six disabilities identified by the questions. The six questions as asked in the 2003-2005 ACS surveys are as follows:  Q15. Does this person have any of the following long lasting conditions: a. Blindness, deafness, or a severe vision or hearing impairment?[Sensory Disability]  b. A condition that substantially limits one or more basic physical activities such as walking, climbing stairs, reaching, lifting, or carrying? [Physical Disability] Q16. Because of a physical, mental, or emotional condition lasting 6 months or more, does this person have any difficulty in doing any of the following activities: a. Learning, remembering, or concentrating? b. Dressing, bathing, or getting around inside the home? [Mental disability] [Answer Question 17 only if this person is age 15 or older.] Q17. Because of a physical, mental, or emotional condition lasting 6 months or more, does this person have any difficulty in doing any of the following activities: a. Going outside the home alone to shop or visit a doctor's office? [Go-Outside-Home Disability] b. Working at a job or business? [Employment Disability] For more information on the ACS see the following website: http://www.census.gov/acs/

[3]                 The poverty measure is computed based upon the standards defined in Directive 14 from the Office of Management and Budget. These standards use poverty thresholds created in 1982 and index these thresholds to 2007 dollars using poverty factors based upon the Consumer Price Index. They use the family as the income sharing unit and family income is the sum of total income from each family member living in the household. The poverty threshold depends upon the size of the family; the age of the householder; and the number of related children under the age of 18.

[4]                  She, P. and Livermore. G. (2006). Material hardship, disability, and poverty among working-age adults. Cornell University: Rehabilitation Research and Training Center for Economic Research on Employment Policy for Persons with Disabilities: Research Brief. Retrieved 9/24/2009 from http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/edicollect/1223/

[5]                  Keeping Track: National Disability Status and Program Performance Indicators. National Council on Disability, April 21, 2008. Available at: http://www.ncd.gov/newsroom/publications/2008/Indicators_Report.html

[6]                  Institute of Medicine. (2004, January). Insuring America’s Health: Principles and recommendations. Washington DC: IOM. Retrieved July 10, 2007 http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2004/Insuring-Americas-Health-Principles-and-Recommendations.aspx

[7]                  For example, Livermore, Goodman, Wright, 2007, Schmidt and Smith,2007; Magill-Evans, Galambos, Darrah, and Nickerson, 2008

[8]                  These data are from: http://www.census.gov/did/www/sahie/ “Small Area Health Insurance Estimates (SAHIE) are based on models combining data from a variety of sources, including the Annual Social and Economic Supplement of the Current Population Survey, Census 2000, the Census Bureau’s Population Estimates Program, the County Business Patterns data set and administrative records, such as aggregated federal tax returns and Medicaid participation records.” These estimates represent health insurance coverage status for people age 18 to 64 in 2006.