Interactive map: See how many are on disability in YOUR community

Waves of pain across Michigan’s ‘Disability Belt’

Across northern Michigan, a greater percentage of working-age adults are getting long-term disability than anywhere outside the rural South. In a region beset with economic and health woes, tens of thousands of workers have qualified for checks at a rate unrivaled north of Kentucky. SEE FULL STORY.

Source: U.S. Census, Social Security Administration and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Like what you’re reading in Bridge? Please consider a donation to support our work!

It takes time, money, and hard work to inform Michigan readers and leaders with substantive, in-depth, future-oriented news and analysis. If you value our journalism, please consider a one-time donation or a monthly contribution. It takes just a moment to donate here. Please join the thousands of Bridge readers who are helping grow and sustain our nonprofit, in-depth public service journalism in Michigan.

Pay with VISA Pay with MasterCard Pay with American Express Donate now

Comment Form

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.


Thu, 04/13/2017 - 6:17pm

I own a 2nd place in Iosco County. Getting someone to do work there - even when paying cash - is next to impossible. Ugh!

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 10:22am

Same is true in Presque Isle. If you can convince anyone to get off their @ss, they want 10x what you would pay for the same thing in SE Michigan.

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 2:17pm

There are very few jobs in those counties, so people who can work move out. This lowers property values and makes it more affordable for people who can't work to move in. This is simple cause and effect, but if there were jobs, the percentage on disability would go down as the population and property values increased.

Sat, 06/03/2017 - 3:07pm

Number one problem with the social security system.