Disability Insurance and the Great Recession

10 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2016

See all articles by Nicole Maestas

Nicole Maestas

Harvard Medical School - Department of Health Care Policy

Kathleen J. Mullen

RAND Corporation

Alexander Strand

Social Security Administration

Date Written: February 12, 2015

Abstract

This paper reports research on the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, which is designed to provide income to support workers who become unable to work because of a severe, long-lasting disability. The research used administrative data to estimate the effect of labor market conditions, as measured by the unemployment rate, on the number of SSDI applications, the number and composition of initial allowances and denials, and the timing of applications relative to disability onset. The authors analyzed the period of the Great Recession, and compare this period with business cycle effects over the past two decades, from 1992 through 2012. The analysis isolates the quantity and composition of applicants who are induced to apply for SSDI benefits when labor market opportunities decline, and therefore provides important new evidence about the group for whom SSDI application is a substitute for labor force participation, and their impact on the SSDI program.

Suggested Citation

Maestas, Nicole and Mullen, Kathleen J. and Strand, Alexander, Disability Insurance and the Great Recession (February 12, 2015). RAND Working Paper Series WR- 1088. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2798881 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2798881

Nicole Maestas (Contact Author)

Harvard Medical School - Department of Health Care Policy ( email )

180 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States

Kathleen J. Mullen

RAND Corporation ( email )

1776 Main Street
P.O. Box 2138
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States
310-393-0411 x6265 (Phone)
310-260-8156 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://works.bepress.com/kathleen_mullen

Alexander Strand

Social Security Administration ( email )

Washington, DC
United States

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