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Financial Abuse

The abuse, neglect, and exploitation of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) has been a feature of society throughout history and comes in many forms, including physical, emotional/psychological, and sexual. However, financial exploitation may be increasing in prevalence and is difficult to detect and prevent. Although there is no uniform definition of financial exploitation specific to individuals with ID/DD, this abuse may be defined as the wrongful and intentional use and misappropriation of a vulnerable person’s financial resources and assets through dishonest and self-serving means. Most individuals with ID/DD are unemployed or underemployed and typically rely on federal and state funds for their economic support. The characteristics of intellectual disabilities, particularly diminished capacity in functioning and cognition, creates an environment where individuals with ...

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