Selected Research & Analysis: Disability Insurance (DI) > Claiming Behavior

Research Summary

The Benefit Receipt Patterns and Labor Market Experiences of Older Workers Who Were Denied Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits on the Basis of Work Capacity
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 80, No. 2 (released May 2020)
by Jody Schimmel Hyde, April Yanyuan Wu, and Lakhpreet Gill

In this article, the authors use linked survey and administrative data to identify Social Security Disability Insurance applicants who received a denial at steps 4 and 5 of the Social Security Administration's sequential evaluation process for disability determination. The authors document the denied applicants' demographic characteristics and the characteristics of the occupations they held before application and track their postdenial benefit receipt, employment, and earnings patterns.

The Time Between Disability Onset and Application for Benefits: How Variation Among Disabled Workers May Inform Early Intervention Policies
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 79, No. 3 (released August 2019)
by Matt Messel and Alexander Strand

This article examines how much time typically passes between disability onset and application for disability-program benefits, by age at onset and diagnosis. Among eventual applicants, certain subgroups might be suitable targets for employment-support interventions. Using Social Security administrative data, the authors find that the median period from onset to application is 7.6 months. Younger applicants tend to have waited longer, particularly those diagnosed with back impairments or arthritis. Among both younger and older applicants, individuals diagnosed with intellectual disability or other mental disorders are potential targets for early intervention programs because those groups wait the longest to apply and are the most likely to continue working in the interim.

The Prevalence of Employer-Provided Benefits by Industry of Employment and Implications for Social Security Disability Insurance Claiming Behavior
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 79, No. 1 (released February 2019)
by Ӧzlen D. Luznar and Jackson Costa

Policymakers seek effective ways to restore or maintain the labor force participation of current and potential Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) beneficiaries. The availability of certain types of employer-provided benefits may affect whether workers with health impairments are able to maintain employment. In this research note, we use National Compensation Survey data to estimate the availability of employer-sponsored health insurance and paid leave by industry of employment.

The Decline in Earnings Prior to Application for Disability Insurance Benefits
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 77, No. 1 (released February 2017)
by Jackson Costa

Social Security administrative data show that the earnings of individuals who apply for Disability Insurance benefits decline rapidly in the years prior to application. This article presents statistics on the average “decline period”—the time from the year of maximum earnings to the year of application—by general and specific primary diagnosis, sex, and age for individuals who filed applications during 2004–2013. The analysis compares decline periods for applicants whose claims were allowed with those for applicants whose claims were denied. Understanding decline-period variations may enable policymakers and service providers to target and customize preapplication support services to specific population subgroups.

The Growth in Applications for Social Security Disability Insurance: A Spillover Effect from Workers' Compensation
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72, No. 3 (released August 2012)
by Xuguang (Steve) Guo and John F. Burton, Jr.

Applications for Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) increased during the 1990s compared with the 1980s. Over that period, workers' compensation benefits for workers with permanent disabilities declined and compensability rules became more stringent. This article examines whether changes in the workers' compensation program caused part of the increase in the DI application rate during the 1990s.

How Policy Variables Influence the Timing of Applications for Social Security Disability Insurance
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 64, No. 1 (released April 2002)
by Richard V. Burkhauser, J. S. Butler, and Robert R. Weathers II

The onset of a work-limiting health condition may lead workers to reevaluate their lifetime work path. This article analyzes the impact of policy variables—employer accommodations, state Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) acceptance rates, and DI benefits—on the timing of DI applications for such workers.