Guaranteed basic income from parents for young disabled adult?
Hi BPN: Our beloved Young Adult Kid recently graduated from a UC and is enjoying a hard-earned break before charting next steps. YA Kid worked very hard at school and earned decent grades but emerged with neither a good education nor any skilled or pre-professional work experience. YA Kid has a learning disability severe enough that it will be difficult to impossible for them to meet most employers’ expectations, but not severe enough to qualify for or warrant government assistance. YA Kid appears poised to be a low-wage worker for the indefinite future. [If responding to this post, please hold any feedback regarding treatment for neurological disability, developing alternative skills, the potential that we underestimate YA Kid’s ability or employment prospects, or the fact that this is a question born of privilege. We know that and it is not the point of this question. Assume that we have pursued all avenues and that the scenario presented is accurate.]
Our friends and family who are parents of young adults are proudly anticipating their plans to stop or substantially reduce financial support to their college-graduates. We, on the other hand, are considering providing our disabled YA Kid with a small guaranteed basic income that, combined with a low-wage job, would enable them to live independently in a geographic area of their choosing, pay for health care after age 26, and save for purchases like a car and insurance or travel, all of which many low-wage working adults struggle to do. Research from government-sponsored universal basic income programs suggests that recipients are not disincentivized to work, rather they use universal basic income to stabilize their lives by spending on reliable transportation, housing, and capacity to absorb emergency expenses. We do not imagine an amount that would enable YA Kid to do nothing. We are considering a limited but consistent amount that would enable a low-wage worker to live safely, out of poverty, manage their own finances, and save for future goals.
We don’t know anyone else who is thinking this way about financial support for their non-disabled college-educated kids. Have any of you in the BPN community considered and/or tried explicitly setting a guaranteed basic income for their non-student young adult kids to supplement their earnings (as opposed to helping out as-needed or continuing to cover specific expenses like cell phone service, health insurance or other essentials) after some initial post-graduation period of job-hunting or entry level job? Any pros or cons that you’ve considered or experienced? Thoughts about why, why not, and how to provide on-going financial support for disabled adult to have a middle-class standard of living (if there is such a thing)? Thank you for sharing your thoughts.