Five States with the most Individuals Receiving Disability

May 29, 2013

The five states with the most individuals receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits are:  West Virginia, Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky, and Mississippi.  Factors that contribute to theses states being among the highest include poverty and a lack of access to health care.  These states also have fewer jobs offering competitive wages.

In principle, the reason Americans apply for disability is because their health prevents them from working. A review of a recent Gallup-Healthways survey shows that nearly these states with the highest rates of disability are in the top 10 for serious conditions, including heart attacks, diabetes, hypertension and recurring knee, leg and back pain. West Virginia, the state with the highest disability rate, had either the highest or the second-highest rate in the country for all of these conditions.

Residents in these states find it hard to get a job that will pay much more than disability with their work experience, education and health condition, explained Gary Burtless, economist and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. “In states like Alabama and West Virginia,” Burtless said, “lots of the workers are going to be in occupations where the next job they obtain — if they do stick it out and work through the pain and the disability — is one that is going to pay considerably less than the last job that they held.”

Read more: States with the Most Americans on Disability – 24/7 Wall St.

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