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New Publication: Use of the Earned Income Tax Credit among People with Disabilities

by User Not Found | Jul 01, 2013

The Employment Policy and Measurement Rehabilitation Research and Training Center 
Funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)
to Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire releases the new publication:

Michael Morris
Nanette Goodman
Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University

Debra L. Brucker
University of New Hampshire

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is the largest cash assistance program in the US and has become the centerpiece of anti-poverty initiatives.  In 2011, 26.5 million people received $60.7 billion in the form of reduced taxes and tax refunds (Internal Revenue Service, 2013).

Beginning with its inception in 1975 and through a number of expansions in both Democratic and Republican administrations, the EITC has been promoted to achieve four goals: (1) Reduce poverty, especially childhood poverty (2) Reduce reliance on welfare programs, (3) Provide an incentive to work by subsidizing low wages, and (4) provide relief from regressive payroll taxes.  Current discussions suggest expanding the EITC rather than raising the minimum wage as a way to help the working poor (Roemer, 2013). 

However, the structure of the EITC does not serve the needs of low-income people with disabilities as well as it serves low income people without disabilities and any changes to the program must recognize the disparate impact it may have on them.  The EITC could be refined to become a more effective vehicle for reducing poverty or encouraging work among people with disabilities.