Per a series of articles in the Washington Post, the number of working-age adults receiving disability in the USA climbed from 7.7 million to 13 million between 1996 and 2015. The federal government this year will spend an estimated $192 billion on disability payments, more than the combined total for food stamps, welfare, housing subsidies and unemployment assistance. The rise in disability has emerged as yet another indicator of a widening political, cultural and economic chasm between urban and rural America.
The first article in this series was published on March 30, 2017, and the latest was published on October 7, 2017. They offer insight on the human side of this story that goes beyond dry statistics. Here are links to the articles: