WI23-08: COVID-19 Health Disparities and the Economic Security of Families with Children



This project contributes to our understanding of the causes of COVID-19 health disparities and their impact on the economic security of families with children. Focusing on children and their caregivers, our analysis compares groups of families with long and severe COVID-19 experiences to those with mild COVID-19 symptom experiences and those without COVID-19 diagnoses. We find that households with lingering and severe COVID symptoms are much more likely to have faced economic distress. They were 53 percent more likely to experience job loss, 81 percent more likely to have a reduction in earnings, 90 percent more likely to experience financial difficulty, and 57 percent less likely to access balanced meals than were households where individuals experienced mild or no COVID symptoms. The estimated associations are more pronounced for households of color and households within 400 percent of the federal poverty line before the pandemic started.

These findings suggest that children—as well as households as a whole—have long-term consequences when a household member suffers from long-lasting COVID conditions. As more formal diagnoses for long COVID are established, policymakers may need to augment support systems to mitigate economic damage to households with children. As the ADA now considers long COVID a disability, we discuss potential policy responses to rapidly sustain financial security among households struggling because of long COVID: (1) educating the public about SSI and DI application processes surrounding long COVID, (2) expediting the SSI/DI application processes, and (3) extending state unemployment insurance for households with long COVID.


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WI23-08: COVID-19 Health Disparities and the Economic Security of Families with Children

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