The report, "Disability Characteristics of Income-Based Government Assistance Recipients in the United States," found states west of the Appalachian Mountains had higher rates of disability among recipients of income-based assistance. In comparison, states in the Southwest and along the Eastern Seaboard had lower rates.
West Virginia, Kentucky and Arkansas were three of the top five states for disability prevalence in the total population, as well as in the total population receiving government assistance. In West Virginia, 26.8 percent of people with disabilities reported having ambulatory difficulty, defined as severe difficulties walking or climbing stairs, the report said.
People with a disability include those having vision, hearing, cognitive, ambulatory, self-care or independent living difficulties. Among recipients of public assistance, 18 percent had difficulty walking or climbing stairs, 15 percent had trouble leaving home to go shopping or visit the doctor without assistance and 14 percent encountered trouble with memory, concentration or making decisions.