Disability subsidies far higher in rural America than in urban areas

Apr 3, 2017

Credit David Amsler / Flickr Creative Commons

A new report shows that the rate of those who receive disability benefits is far higher in the rural parts of America than in the more populous centers.

As The Washington Post reports, 133 of the 136 counties with the highest disability rates in the U.S. are rural. In those counties, more than one in six working-age adults receive disability.

This year, the federal government will spend almost $200 billion on disability payments. That’s more than the cost of food stamps, welfare, housing subsidies or unemployment assistance.

Most people on disability are unemployed, because full-time employment is a disqualifier for disability assistance. The rise in disability claims is given as evidence by the Post of the widening urban-rural divide in America. In last year’s presidential election, most of these counties with heavy rates of disability assistance voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump.