Publication Date

January 2001


While the onset of a health based work limitation will affect a worker’s ability to remain on the job, it does not necessarily result in a swift and certain job exit and transition onto the disability rolls. The decision to leave the workforce and apply for SSDI benefits can be influenced both positively and negatively by policy variables. These two policy thrusts—SSDI transfers to replace lost earnings and accommodation to increase duration on the job—can send mixed signals to workers who experience the onset of a disability. Hence, understanding how such policies influence behavior for those who experience a disability is critical in developing policies that fully integrate people with disabilities into the workforce.


Burkhauser, R.V., Butler, J.S. & Weathers II, R.R., (January 2001), How Policy Variables Influence the Timing of Social Security Disability Insurance Applications, Rehabilitation Research and Training Center for Economic Research on Employment Policy for Persons with Disabilities, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

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