Worcester Ranked Among Worst Cities in U.S. for People With Disabilities

Thursday, October 05, 2017
GoLocalWorcester News Team

The price of a doctor visit in Worcester is the fourth highest in the country, while Worcester is ranked as one  of the worst cities in the U.S. for people living with disabilities. 

According to a recent study completed by WalletHub, Worcester is ranked 130th out of 150 ranked cities when it comes to best places for people with disabilities. 

“According to the Social Security Administration, one in five Americans lives with a disability, and one in 10 has a severe disability. Managing poor health can be quite expensive, considering the high cost of U.S. health care. To add insult to injury, disability checks for most beneficiaries are insufficient for monthly living expenses — let alone disability-related costs. “At the beginning of 2015, Social Security paid an average monthly disability benefit of $1,165” according to the SSA. “That is barely enough to keep a beneficiary above the 2014 poverty level ($11,670 annually),” said WalletHub.

Worcester's Rankings 

  • 129th Best - Economy 
  • 80th Best - Quality of Life 
  • 111th Best - Healthcare 
  • 146th - Highest Cost of Doctor's Visits 
  • 144th - Fewest Family Doctors & General Practitioners per Capita

 

The Rankings 

Worcester ranks behind Yonkers, New York and Modesto, California who ranks 128th and 129th respectively.

Worcester ranks ahead of Durham, North Carolina and Tulsa, Oklahoma,  who rank 131st and 132nd respectively.

San Bernardino, California is ranked as the worst city in the U.S. for those with disabilities.

Overland Park, Kansas is ranked as the best city for people with disabilities.

See the Rankings Below

Source: WalletHub

The Method

To determine the most livable places for people with disabilities, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 150 most populated cities across three key dimensions: 1) Economy, 2) Quality of Life and 3) Health Care.

They evaluated those dimensions using 28 relevant metrics. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for people with disabilities.

Finally, they determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its total score and used the resulting scores to rank-order the cities in our sample. In determining our sample, we considered only the “city proper” in each case and excluded cities in the surrounding metro area.

Economy – Points: 33.33

  • Housing Affordability: Full Weight (~3.03 Points)
  • Cost of Living: Full Weight (~3.03 Points)
  • Median Earnings for People with Disabilities: Double Weight (~6.06 Points)
  • Employment Rate for People with Disabilities: Double Weight (~6.06 Points)
  • Share of Persons with Disabilities Living Below Poverty Level: Double Weight (~6.06 Points)
  • Share of Homeless People with Disabilities: Full Weight (~3.03 Points)
  • Annual Cost of In-Home Services: Full Weight (~3.03 Points)
  • Presence of CDC Funding for Disability & Health Programs: Half* Weight (~1.52 Points)
  • Presence of Public-Housing Waiting List for Seniors/People with Disabilities: Half* Weight (~1.52 Points)

 

Quality of Life – Points: 33.33

  • Share of People with Disabilities: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)
  • Special-Education Teachers per 1,000 School-Aged People with Disabilities: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)
  • Graduation Rate for Students with Disabilities: Half Weight (~2.08 Points)
  • Wheelchair-Accessible Restaurants per Capita**: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)
  • Wheelchair-Accessible Grocery Stores per Capita**: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)
  • Wheelchair-Accessible Trails per Capita**: Half* Weight (~2.08 Points)
  • Share of Population with Walkable Park Access: Half Weight (~2.08 Points)
  • Walkability: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)
  • Effectiveness of State Medicaid Programs: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)
  • Share of Young Buildings: Half Weight (~2.08 Points)

 

Healthcare – Points: 33.33

  • Cost of Doctor Visit: Full Weight (~4.76 Points)
  • Average Per-Person Health-Insurance Premium: Half* Weight (~2.38 Points)
  • Family Doctors & General Practitioners per Capita: Full Weight (~4.76 Points)
  • Occupational Therapists per Capita: Full Weight (~4.76 Points)
  • WalletHub “Doctors” Ranking: Half* Weight (~2.38 Points)
  • WalletHub “Nurses” Ranking: Half* Weight (~2.38 Points)
  • Hospitals per Capita: Half* Weight (~2.38 Points)
  • Quality of Public Hospital System: Half* Weight (~2.38 Points)
  • Share of Uninsured Population: Full Weight (~4.76 Points)
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