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Alabama: One of the Highest Rates of SSD Recipients in the United States

Alabama and West Virginia have the largest percentages of workers receiving Social Security Disability (SSD). In Alabama, that means that nearly 300,000 people get monthly checks from the federal program because they can no longer work. That is around six percent of the state's population. Nationally, around three percent of the population receive SSD benefits.

Other facts about SSD recipients reported in a recent story in AL.com: More people in the Southeast receive benefits than in other regions of the United States. The top five states for SSD recipients are West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky and Mississippi. The only other state with a similar percentage of people on SSD is Maine.

There appears to be a correlation between the percentage of people receiving SSD benefits and the number of prescription painkiller prescriptions written in the state. According to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study, Alabama and West Virginia are number one and two, respectively, among the states for the number of pain killer prescriptions written, confirming that people in those states are in pain.

Another factor in explaining the status of Alabama and West Virginia as top states for disability recipients is the type of labor market. Alabama is traditionally a manufacturing state, with more jobs in that sector than other states. These blue-collar, labor-intensive jobs don't provide workers with the background and experience needed to shift to different kinds of work if they become disabled.

Alabama's high rate of SSD recipients is not the result of lenient judges or a more forgiving application process. Just as Alabama has a larger proportion of disability benefit recipients, it also has a higher denial rate than many states. Its initial approval rate is around 40 percent. Nationally, first-time claim approval rates range from 32 to 62 percent, placing Alabama on the lower end of the approval rate range.

Whether you live in Alabama or anywhere else in the United States, if you having problems with your claim for SSD benefits, do what so many other Americans like you have done: Contact Binder & Binder®, America's most successful social security disability advocates. Tell them your story and learn how they can help you obtain the benefits you need and deserve.

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