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More Augusta area residents receiving food stamps, disability benefits

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More area residents are receiving food stamps and disability benefits, following a nationwide trend.

According to the Georgia Department of Human Services, the number of people on food stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits in Region 7 increased every six months from July 2007 to January of this year, climbing 65 percent during that time.

The 14 counties in the region are Burke, Columbia, Glascock, Hancock, Jeffer­son, Jenkins, Lincoln, McDuffie, Richmond, Scre­ven, Taliaferro, Warren, Washington and Wilkes.

In July 2007, 66,809 people in the region received food stamps. The number had increased to 110,381 in January, said Ravae Graham, the deputy director of legislative affairs and communications for the Department of Human Services.

Nationwide, nearly 45 million people, one in seven U.S. residents, received SNAP benefits during an average month in fiscal year 2011, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Total federal spending on the program more than doubled between 2007 and 2011, reaching $78 billion. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that total federal spending on the program will peak at $82 billion in fiscal year 2013.

The number of people in Region 7 receiving disability benefits from the Social Security Administration has also increased. As of December 2010, the latest data available, 8,575 people in Richmond County received disability benefits, up from 6,840 in December 2009, an increase of 25 percent.

In Columbia County, 2,820 people received disability benefits in 2010, compared with 2,110 in 2009, an increase of 34 percent. The number of recipients in McDuffie, Burke, Aiken and Edgefield counties increased.

“Nationally, we have seen an increase in initial disability claims of about 25 percent during the economic downturn,” said Frank Viera, the deputy regional communications director for the Social Security Administration’s Atlanta Public Affairs Office.

As of December 2010, 10,184,157 people nationwide, including 307,907 in Georgia and 192,113 in South Carolina, were receiving disability benefits, Viera said.

Nationally, the Social Security Administration has also seen an increase in the number of disability applications filed because of the aging of baby boomers and the economic downturn, he said.

County numbers are not available for the number of applications for disability benefits, but 62,283 people in Georgia have applied in 2012 to date. In South Carolina, 32,818 people have applied to date, Viera said.


Region 7 includes Burke, Columbia, Glascock, Hancock, Jefferson, Jenkins, Lincoln, McDuffie, Richmond, Screven, Taliaferro, Warren, Washington and Wilkes counties

MonthHouseholdsNumber of people
January 200727,33568,207
July 200726,71766,809
January 200827,44468,140
July 200829,17271,895
January 200932,78079,609
July 200936,17486,476
January 201039,87693,448
July 201042,52498,858
January 201145,205102,689
July 201147,546106,774
January 201250,236110,381

Source: Ravae Graham, the deputy director of legislative affairs and communications for the Department of Human Services


 December 2010

CountyNumber of people receiving disability benefits
Richmond County8,575
Columbia County2,820
McDuffie County1,075
Burke County1,250
Aiken County6,540
Edgefield County1,005

December 2009

Richmond County6,840
Columbia County2,110
McDuffie County830
Burke County945
Aiken County5,055
Edgefield County815

Sources: Frank Viera, the deputy regional communications director for the Social Security Administration’s Atlanta Public Affairs Office, and Social Security Administration’s Office of Retirement and Disability Policy report of beneficiaries by state and county for 2009

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Conservative Man
Conservative Man 04/27/12 - 10:13 pm
Liberals define compassion by

Liberals define compassion by how many people are on welfare, conservatives define compassion by how many people no longer need it...Hopefully this year we will elect people who see to it that more people no longer need it.....

GaStang22 04/28/12 - 03:04 am
Amen to that!! Fat chance of

Amen to that!! Fat chance of it though. The system and its workers enable and condone lifelong scamming and shuns people who really do need it temporarily, and that will never change because it forces responsibility and the bleeding hearts can't have any of that!!!

SteveSwimmer 04/28/12 - 03:52 am
The only people profiting

The only people profiting from the food stamp program financially are banks and the people in the food business.

The hapless beneficiaries are mere consuming puppets in the larger financial scheme, regularly denigrated pushed around at will; and, dumped in to a convenient hate group by right wing Republicans (for social cohesion reasons by those manipulating Republican Party thinking). (Face fact: Republicans need hate groups, the glue that keeps Republicans together.)

Step out of the hate mongering confinement bubble and look beyond the small minority of petty food stamp thieves hurting so bad they steal from the hand that provides.

Follow the big money if you really want to ferret out the food stamp villains. The big money goes to the food industry; and, it is their lobby people who hustle food stamps to everyone in sight. You don’t think for a moment poor people can hire lobby people, do you?

Of course, the banks love food stamps, for they enjoy countless positive dollars just by handling the many millions in food stamp monies. Plus, the banks finance the grocers growth needed to support the food stamp customer. Win, win, win for all with money to make here, while feeding the right wing Republican need for a hate group. What a deal in the form of a silent steal.

If any group needs work on personal growth it is the “food stamp industry.” This is the group who can administrate a fair and equitable food stamp program, saving taxpayers money with efficient food distribution and central banking.

But, no. Nothing making economic sense is ever going to happen as long as the food profiteers control our food stamp program and right wing Republicans continue to trick a gullible public with finger pointing at poor people who are food stamp recipients.

allhans 04/28/12 - 10:25 am
This is part of the master

This is part of the master plan, government money makes those on the receiving end more dependent (by fooling them into thinking they are being helped) and that is the liberal way.
If you look like one of theirs your chances are much greater for cashing in.

JRC2024 04/28/12 - 11:06 am
Soapy, those on the dole are

Soapy, those on the dole are destroying themselves by not earning their way, having many children and expecting someone else to pay. They also lose all respect by staying on programs for life from those of us who earn ours.

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