Mostly Cabbages

I live vicariously through myself.

People who leave the workforce and go onto disability qualify for Medicare, the government health care program that also covers the elderly. They also get cash payments from the government of about $13,000 a year. This isn’t great. But if your alternative is a minimum wage job that will pay you at most $15,000 a year, and probably does not include health insurance, disability may be a better option.

But going on disability means you will not work, you will not get a raise, you will not get whatever meaning people get from work. Going on disability means, assuming you rely only on those disability payments, you will be poor for the rest of your life. That’s the deal. And it’s a deal 14 million Americans have chosen for themselves.

Chana Joffe-Walt, “Unfit to Work

This is a new story from one of the Planet Money writers. ┬áIt’ll be on This American Life this weekend (or tonight at 8pm EDT if you’re going to be listening along from the app, like me)

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