Social Security
Disability Insurance Program
Worker Experience

by Tim Zayatz, A.S.A.


The most recent work dedicated to presenting actuarial experience of the Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) program is Actuarial Study #114, Social Security Disabiity Insurance Program Worker Experience (June 1999). The study examined historical data with regard to disability incidence and benefit termination over the period 1975-98. A comprehensive analysis of termination activity of the DI rolls was also presented based on 100 percent worker data collected for the 5-year period 1991-95. The overall content of Actuarial Study #118, and the methods used to prepare those results are consistent with those of the prior study; namely, disability incidence and benefit termination is examined over the period 1975-2004, and a comprehensive analysis of termination activity is presented for the 5-year period 1996-2000. Details of the underlying methodology for table construction are outlined in the appendix.

This study does not present projections of actuarial cost estimates for the DI program, which appeared intermittently in previous studies. For this information, the reader is referred to Actuarial Study #115, Short-Range Actuarial Projections of the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Program (July 2001), which was developed to provide a detailed description of the methodology and assumptions used in projecting the costs associated with the entire OASDI program. An update to that work is scheduled to appear later this year.

The study is also available on the Social Security Administration's website at Additional copies of the study are available upon request. Please refer to the inside cover for details. Finally, readers are welcome to provide comments or suggestions regarding any of the material contained within. Comments may be directed to

Eli N. Donkar, Ph.D., A.S.A., M.A.A.A.
Deputy Chief Actuary

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