Center for American Progress

RELEASE: New CAP Report Finds Disabled LGBTQI+ Adults Experience Heightened Rates of Economic Insecurity Due to Employment Discrimination
Press Release

RELEASE: New CAP Report Finds Disabled LGBTQI+ Adults Experience Heightened Rates of Economic Insecurity Due to Employment Discrimination

Washington, D.C. — A new report from the Center for American Progress reveals how compounding forms of discrimination cause disabled LGBTQI+ individuals to face heightened exclusion in the workplace, resulting in higher rates of economic precarity. Based on an analysis of CAP’s 2020 nationally representative survey, the report examines the experiences of disabled LGBTQI+ people in the context of employment; details how these experiences affect their economic security, housing, and medical care; and proposes policy recommendations to reduce disparities and improve outcomes among disabled LGBTQI+ people.

“LGBTQI+ people with disabilities face significantly higher rates of workforce discrimination and labor exclusion,” said Caroline Medina, policy analyst for the LGBTQ Research and Communications Project at CAP and co-author of the report. “These disparities are correlated with elevated rates of poverty, low levels of homeownership and asset building, an inability to access medical services, and poorer health outcomes.”

Among the report’s key findings:

  • 45 percent of LGBTQI+ adults who reported some form of a disability experienced discrimination in the year prior to CAP’s survey, including 54 percent of disabled LGBTQI+ adults of color.
  • Among disabled LGBTQI+ adults who experienced discrimination in the year prior, 68 percent reported that it negatively affected their ability to be hired, and 61 percent reported that it negatively affected their ability to retain employment.
  • 46 percent of disabled LGBTQI+ adults reported a household income of less than $30,000 per year, compared with 29 percent of LGBTQI+ adults with no disabilities.
  • 40 percent of disabled LGBTQI+ respondents postponed or went without needed medical care in the year prior to CAP’s survey due to cost—15 percentage points higher than the rate for LGBTQI+ people without disabilities.

“It is essential for Congress to adopt robust nondiscrimination laws—such as the Equality Act—to address the intersecting barriers that disabled LGBTQI+ people face, particularly in employment,” said Mia Ives-Rublee, director of the Disability Justice Initiative at CAP and co-author of the report. “By eliminating asset limits for public assistance programs, abolishing the subminimum wage, and closing the Medicaid coverage gap, among many other measures, lawmakers can help to address the disparities laid out in this report.”

Please click here to read the report: “The United States Must Advance Economic Security for Disabled LGBTQI+ Workers” by Caroline Medina, Lindsay Mahowald, Thee Santos, and Mia Ives-Rublee

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Julia Cusick at jcusick@americanprogress.org or Tricia Woodcome at twoodcome@americanprogress.org.