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On ADA anniversary, ALICE with disabilities comes into focus

47% of New Jersey’s residents with disabilities are living in financial hardship

Thirty-two years ago today, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed, a watershed moment for removing the barriers to independence that individuals with disabilities face daily.

On this anniversary, we find that despite progress, enormous hurdles remain. Our latest ALICE in Focus: People With Disabilities data reveals that 47% of New Jersey’s residents with disabilities are living in financial hardship, with inadequate access to supports.

Our latest report and interactive tools demonstrate how the Federal Poverty Level is woefully inaccurate, portraying that just 14% live in poverty, overlooking the 33% who are ALICE and unable to afford the basics in our high-cost state.

Through our ALICE data, we know that having a disability puts a person at substantial risk of financial instability, more than many other factors.

As those financial stresses only deepened throughout the pandemic, so too did the strain on mental health. Our latest research shows that people with disabilities living in financial hardship were three times more likely to feel anxious nearly every day during the pandemic, compared to those without disabilities.

In addition to being overlooked, these individuals also lack access to sufficient resources as they struggle to afford the basics. In 2019:

  • 69% didn’t access governmental food support

  • 85% couldn’t access Supplemental Security Income

  • 61% of renters were overtaxed by housing costs

Act with United Way to bring light to the barriers that continue to keep people with disabilities from achieving financial stability. Explore the data. And share it with others. Visit:

United, with this information, we can create change for those who need our help the most. Help us spread the word on social media about #ALICEinFocus and #PeopleWithDisabilities and how this new data can help to drive lasting, positive change.

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