Center for American Progress

Administrative Burdens: How the Social Safety Net Is Failing Disabled People

Administrative Burdens: How the Social Safety Net Is Failing Disabled People

Disabled Americans describe their, often dehumanizing, experiences trying to overcome unnecessary barriers to access vital assistance from the government.

Administrative burdens—aspects of programs that make it more difficult for someone to access or maintain assistance for which they otherwise qualify—are riddled throughout the social safety net, especially in programs designed for low-income and disabled Americans. Administrative burdens cause real, lasting harm to huge swaths of disabled Americans, making it difficult for them to navigate a system that is supposed to help them obtain basic necessities such as food, housing, and medical treatments. People with disabilities are more than twice as likely to live in poverty than nondisabled people. Barriers to accessing the social safety net make it much harder for them to escape poverty, which, in turn, harms their communities and the entire economy.

Read CAP's report on administrative burdens

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Justin Schweitzer

Former Policy Analyst

Emily DiMatteo

Former Senior Policy Analyst, Disability Justice Initiative

Nick Buffie

Former Policy Analyst, Tax and Budget Policy

Mia Ives-Rublee

Director, Disability Justice Initiative


Ala Al Sadi

Former Video Producer

Hai-Lam Phan

Senior Director, Creative

Toni Pandolfo

Video Producer, Production


Disability Justice Initiative

We promote policies to ensure disabled people of color and those most marginalized by ableism and other forms of oppression can participate in the economy and democracy.

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