MONTPELIER, Vt. — A new report finds that the share of people receiving Social Security Disability Insurance due to mental illness is on the rise in Vermont despite declining slightly nationwide.

The report from the Legislative Joint Fiscal Office says that, in December 2016, 46 percent of people in the program were primarily diagnosed with a mental health disorder, up from 40 percent in 2001. Across the country, that number has fallen from 37 percent to 35 percent.

James Smith, division policy manager at the Vermont Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, tells Vermont Public Radio that doesn’t necessarily mean the state has more mentally ill people. He says the state may just be providing better outreach and getting more eligible people enrolled in the program.

SHARE
Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.