490: Trends With Benefits

490: Trends With Benefits

Mar 22, 2013
The number of Americans receiving federal disability payments has nearly doubled over the last 15 years. There are towns and counties around the nation where almost 1/4 of adults are on disability. Planet Money's Chana Joffe-Walt spent 6 months exploring the disability program, and emerges with a story of the U.S. economy quite different than the one we've been hearing. Web Extra: here.
  • Chana Joffe-Walt spent six months reporting on the rise in people on disability. She spends time in Hale County, Alabama, talking to the only general practitioner in town, the main person who okays so many of the county's residents for disability. In addition to giving each patient a medical exam, the doctor also asks this question: what grade did you finish? Chana explains why that one question is so central to the whole story. (22 minutes)EconomicsEducation

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