It is well known that people with disabilities struggle with higher levels of unemployment compared to those without disabilities. According to a recent study, the unemployment rate for people with disability increased during the third quarter of 2012 to 13.7 percent from 12.9 percent in the second quarter. Despite the change, applications for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits remained stable.
In January 2013, the more than 56 million Americans receiving Social Security benefits are set to receiving an increase in their monthly payments. The increase, known as the cost of living adjustment (COLA), will be 1.7 percent, which averages out to about $19 per month or $230 per year. The adjustment is reportedly one of the smallest since cost of living adjustments began to be made back in 1975.
A recent article in the Detroit Free Press highlighted the problem of providing medical care for the mentally ill. As Eric Millikin points out, while the state of Michigan decided in 2003 to close down most of the state's psychiatric hospitals and thereby encourage a shift to local care, the funding for the care has been hard to come by.
A recent study looking at severe cases of intellectual disability caused by genetic defects found that many cases may actually not be inherited, but the result of random mutations. The small-scale study reportedly looked at the genetic makeup of 51 children, both of their parents and a control group. What researchers found is that, in at least 55 percent of those cases, there was no evidence that either parent carried faulty genes responsible for the disability.