In California, spending on adults with disabilities differs by ‘race and place’ of census tract.
By Lisa Rapaport
In the Golden State, people with disabilities are eligible for state-funded housing and disability-specific legal services, but they are not covered by the state’s publicly funded Medicaid, or Medi-Cal, program for low-income residents.
For the first time in the state, the California Access Center, which was established in 2013 to serve people with disabilities, released data showing the level of in-home assistance and support available, the racial and ethnic distribution, and the relationship between income and income received and access, availability, and use of such services.
The center, directed by the University of California, Berkeley, and supported by the National Institute on Disability and Children, examined data from the annual California Community Tracking Survey, a telephone survey of more than 1,200 families with children, and from the 2009-2013 California Health Interview Survey, covering people aged 19 to 64 with incomes of less than 200% of the federal poverty level.
“These findings are an important first step in understanding disparities in access, availability, and use of support services among persons with disabilities in California,” said UC Berkeley Professor of Sociology and Behavioral Sciences Jane Kim (now at Stony Brook University). “While such information is only at a very preliminary stage, the information is essential to build on and is essential for a well-informed public policy agenda.”
The survey identified the racial and ethnic composition of adults with disabilities in each Census tract in California by selecting the Census block with the greatest population of people with disabilities in that census tract. To compare the level of support available to each census tract, the survey calculated the number of adults with disabilities in each Census tract who were in-home assistance or support and who had income and income received, as well as the number of adults with disabilities in each census tract who were in-home assistance or support who were not in-home assistance or support and who had income and income