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Vermonters with disabilities live with dignity and in settings they prefer

Estimated percentage of Vermonters with disabilities age 15+ with incomes less than 200% of federal poverty level


Story Behind the Curve

In Vermont, the percentage of people with disabilities living below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) has declined slightly since 2009, from 48.51% to 45.24%. 

People with disabilities are significantly more likely to live in poverty than people without disabilities. People living in poverty are more likely to find it difficult to access necessities like nutritional food, stable and accessible housing, transportation, health care, medications, and dental care.  They are more likely to be at nutritional risk and to face food insecurity. They are more likely to be unemployed and more likely to earn low wages when they are employed.

One Agency cannot turn the curve alone; many partners have a role to play in making a difference.


Poverty among people with disabilities is a population-level problem. Many partners have a role to play in addressing poverty and alleviating its impact.  Partners include: 

  • Agency of Human Services
    • Department for Children and Families
    • Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living
    • Department of Vermont Health Access
    • Vermont Department of Health
  • Vermont Center for Independent Living
  • Vermont Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired
  • Designated Agencies
  • Specialized Services Agencies
  • Traumatic Brain Injury providers 
  • Area Agencies on Aging
  • Home-delivered meals programs
  • Congregate meals programs
  • Senior Centers
  • Home Health Agencies
  • Community Action Agencies
  • Housing programs and providers
  • Transportation programs and providers
What Works

To address the needs of people with disabilities who have low incomes, policies and programs should:

  • Promote employment including employment skills, opportunities, and flexible employment options
  • Promote housing options that are safe, accessible and affordable
  • Promote transportation options that are safe, accessible and affordable
  • Support the future financial stability of Social Security and Medicare

Initiatives across the Agency of Human Services aim to support individuals living in poverty. These include:

  • General Assistance
  • 3Squares Vermont
  • Medicaid
  • Vocational Rehabilitation 
  • The Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired
  • Assistive Technology Project
Notes on Methodology

Percentages calculated from:

Universe: Civilian noninstitutionalized population for whom poverty status is determined  
2016 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates

1-Year estimates are less precise but more current than 5-year estimates

Vermont Margins of Error are larger than US Margins of Error

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