Academic journal article Social Security Bulletin

Message from the Associate Commissioner

Academic journal article Social Security Bulletin

Message from the Associate Commissioner

Article excerpt

This issue of the Social security Bulletin focuses on the relationship between Social security Disability Insurance and workers' compensation or public disability benefit plans. Material for this issue was drawn from comments and papers that were presented at a policy research seminar cosponsored by the Social security Administration and the National Academy of Social Insurance held in June 2004. The purpose of that seminar was to help researchers gain a better understanding of how the Disability Insurance and workers' compensation programs interact and to encourage participants to think about how the programs could interact more simply and effectively.

Disability Insurance and workers' compensation are the largest disability programs in the United States. Workers' compensation, which is the nation's oldest social insurance program, began in the early 190Os as a substitute for tort suits brought by injured workers against their employers. Since 1956, the Disability Insurance Program has provided cash benefits to people with severe, long-term disabilities who have worked in Social security-covered employment for a defined period of time.

An offset provision for concurrent receipt of workers' compensation was contained in the original 1956 Social security disability legislation; it was eliminated in 1958 and was reinstituted in 1965. In 1981, the offset provision was extended to include public disability benefit plans. The intent of the offset is to ensure that the combined benefits payable under these programs are not excessive.

In his introductory remarks to participants at the research seminar, James B. Lockhart III, Deputy Commissioner of Social security, stressed the need to reassess the relationship between the Disability Insurance and workers' compensation programs. …

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