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Disability Rate Among Maryland Workers Shows Marked Increase

While our neighbors to the south in Washington D.C. have shown improvement in the number of workers reporting a severe work disability, Maryland is among the top 10 states to have shown a negative change over a five year period. From 2010 to 2015, the rate of severe disability among Maryland workers rose from 5.3 percent to 6.7 percent, a 26 percent increase over a 5-year period.

The data was compiled by the Census Bureau as part of the Current Population Survey. The results reflect the number of Maryland workers between the ages of 16 and 65. The Census Bureau defined severe disability as the use of crutches a cane, a walker or a wheelchair. In addition, adults who are unable to see, speak, or grasp small are considered to have a severe disability. Also noted in the definition of severe disability are restrictions on Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL).

Self Care and Activities of Daily Living (ADL)

There are several basic tasks that are considered ADLs, including toileting, transferring, feeding, bathing, and getting dressed. ADLs are essentially a person's typical morning routine when getting ready for the day to go out and about.

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL)

IADLs are capabilities that allow a person to live independently, such as doing housework, paying bills, grocery shopping or preparing meals.

As our population ages, the number of individuals affected by a severe disability that keeps them from working is likely to increase. For those who are disabled due to illness or injury and no longer able to work, Social Security Disability may be available. For those who have never worked, depending on income qualifications, Supplemental Security Income may be available.

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