WARSAW, Mo. -- Around this rural county seat 100 miles southeast of Kansas City, 1 out of every 8 people of working age is home collecting disability checks from the Social Security Administration.
That compares to about 1 in 20 for the Kansas City area ...
[W]here are they most apt to collect [Social Security disability benefits] ? A recent tabulation of data nationwide reveals the highest concentrations of communities subsisting on disability benefits, per capita, to be in historically poor, rural settings.
They’re often places where two-lane highways wind around wooded hills, where mining or manual farm labor once put food on the table, and access to medical care has long been limited.
Poverty begets bad health and greater rates of disability, experts say, and disabilities often lead to deeper poverty.