Social Security

Number of New Mexicans Receiving Disability Jumps 60 Percent in Nine Years

It's like winning the lottery

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SANTA FE — As the number of Americans receiving work disability has grown to record numbers, the increase in the Land of Enchantment has far outpaced the national average.

A New Mexico Watchdog review of figures from the Social Security Administration shows that between 2003 and 2011 (the most recent year available for states), 22,488 more people in New Mexico are receiving work disability benefits — a figure large enough to fill to capacity The Pit in Albuquerque and still put another 7,000 into the Pan American Center in Las Cruces.

That's an increase of 58.7 percent, compared to a 39.5 percent spike in national numbers.