According to the United States Department of Agriculture, disability can significantly affect the ability of adults to properly provide food for themselves and their families. The situation known as “food insecurity” affects many disabled families. Food insecurity occurs when a household lacks adequate food for one or more household member because of insufficient money or other resources for food.
Previous research has found that food insecurity is more common among families with an adult whose ability to work is limited by disability, but more recent research shows that it is also more common in among households with a disabled adults whose ability to work is not necessarily limited. The USDA’s Economic Research Service has looked at how these disabilities may affect food security, as well as how the type of disability relates to food security.
The findings of the research confirm that food insecurity is more common for households where a working-aged adult was kept from the work force than for households that had no working-age adults with disabilities. The research also shows that disabilities that do not prevent employment also lead to a higher likelihood of food insecurity.
In 2009, for instance, one third of households with an adult who had a work-preventing disability struggled with food insecurity, while one fourth of households that included adults with non-work preventing disability were food insecure. That same year, only 12 percent of households that had no working-age adults with disabilities were food insecure.
Because food insecurity is a very difficult situation for families to be in, it is important that disabled adults look into their options for public support, including Social Security disability benefits.
Source: USDA, “Disability Is an Important Risk Factor for Food Insecurity,” Alisha Coleman-Jensen, February 12, 2013