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Disabled Cities

Is your city handicapped? In the recent NPR article that sparked much of the recent debate about SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance), the author, Chana Joffe-Walt, focused a lot of attention on one area of the country in particular:

Man in wheelchair Hale County, Alabama

In Joffe-Walt’s article, she reported that one in four working age adults are on disability in Hale County. That’s a huge percentage. Especially for a program that’s so selective (less that 40% of applicants are approved).

So what’s happening? In the article, Joffe-Walt went on to say that she spoke with a doctor who examines many of the disability recipients in Hale County and he said that he always asks them what grade they finished, after he’s finished analyzing their physical condition.

Why is grade important? In Hale County, a rural area where many of the residents have achieved little beyond a high school education, there just aren’t many opportunities for people to work at a job that’s not hard on their body.

The article told a story of one Hale County woman who said her dream job would be to work in the Social Security office weeding out applications. Initially Joffe-Walt, thought it might be because the woman believed she would be good at “weeding out the cheaters,” but, in fact, it was because that was the only job the woman had seen where you could sit all day.


In highly-educated areas, this is nearly unbelievable, but when you extrapolate this story to rural factory or mill towns, it becomes a little more real.

Kathy Ruffin, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, ran a series of reports on SSDI and listed some of the factors that have affected the boost. She said:

“The accelerating pace of globalization and technological change has been particularly unforgiving to older, less-educated workers and those with cognitive impairments.”

She went on to say that the lack of education and familiarity with current technology, combined with serious physical ailments, has made these workers virtually unemployable. Not good news for areas that have relied on physical work and it is finally taking a toll on their bodies.

North Carolina Social Security Disability Lawyers

Social Security is an important safety net for disabled workers, no matter where you live.

If you have applied for Social Security disability benefits and you believe that your claim was unfairly denied, the North Carolina Social Security disability lawyers at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin may be able to help. Call us at 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your case.