Social Security

Ranks of Pennsylvania Residents Collecting Disability Soars

Better than the lottery


HARRISBURG — The number of people in Pennsylvania getting monthly disability benefits through Social Security is growing at an alarming rate.

Social Security Administration data show more than 390,000 Pennsylvanians qualified for disability payments in 2011, the most recent year for which data is available.

That figure represents a 50 percent increase since 2003, well above the national average of 39 percent growth during the same time.

If all of those beneficiaries lived in the same place would they would comprise the state's second largest city – trailing only Philadelphia and beating Pittsburgh by more than 80,000 residents.