Social Security Benefits Support Smaller Communities

We recently discussed a new study that noted how important Social Security benefits were to smaller towns and communities. The study found that benefits comprised a significant portion of the income of these areas’ residents; these residents then used the benefits right in their communities, helping small and local businesses stay afloat. In the wake of this study, several newspapers and academic institutions have taken a closer look at the precise impact of Social Security benefits in small communities, and today we look at one such community.

Mississippi State University and the Center for Rural Strategies researched the importance of  Social Security benefits in rural communities and found that Scotland County in North Carolina is the county most dependent on Social Security benefits in the U.S. Scotland County has a population of about 40,000 and is located about 100 miles southeast of Charlotte. The county’s median family income is about $40,000, and the county brings in $33 million a year in tourism.

In 2009, researchers found that Scotland residents received more than $100,000,000 in Social Security benefits. Nearly one-fourth of the county’s residents receive some sort of Social Security benefits. Just over half of the benefits were retirement ones; 34 percent were disability benefits; and just about 12 percent were survivors benefits.

Echoing the conclusions from the original study, one community leader remarked, “The more money that comes into the area, the more that gets spent at the grocery store.” As such, Social Security cuts would affect communities like Scotland County a lot more than a larger community, such as Los Angeles, for example. How important of a role do Social Security benefits play in your life and in your community?

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers



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