Older Worker's Progression from Private Disability Benefits to Social Security Disability Benefits

By Wagner, Christopher C.; Danczyk-Hawley, Carolyn E. et al. | Social Security Bulletin, January 1, 2000 | Go to article overview

Older Worker's Progression from Private Disability Benefits to Social Security Disability Benefits


Wagner, Christopher C., Danczyk-Hawley, Carolyn E., Mulholland, Kathryn, Flynn, Bruce G., Social Security Bulletin


by Christopher C. Wagner, Carolyn E. Danczyk-Hawley, Kathryn Mulholland, and Bruce G. Flynn*

Summary

People with medical conditions that limit their ability to work tend to receive short-term disability benefits initially and may then move to long-term and eventually to permanent disability benefits. The progression of older workers (those aged 55 to 64) along that continuum of benefits is documented here with data from a large disability insurance company. The data show that older workers who receive short-term medical disability benefits are three times as likely as younger workers to progress to receipt of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, although a slight reversal of that trend occurs as workers pass age 62.

Musculoskeletal conditions are the most frequent basis of short-term disability claims among older workers, with circulatory conditions running a close second. Furthermore, although all medical conditions are more likely to lead to SSDI benefits among older workers, circulatory conditions do so most frequently.

This article discusses industry standards for the management of disability claims at each level of severity. It also addresses common and emerging disability management practices that may reduce the likelihood of impaired workers developing long-term or permanent financial dependence on disability benefits programs.

Introduction

Since the early 1970s, employers have encountered steadily rising health care, workers' compensation, and other disability-related expenditures (Galvin 1986). Current estimates from the Census Bureau indicate that the direct costs of disability have reached an alltime high of $340 billion (U.S. Census Bureau 2000). When indirect costs such as overtime, low productivity, and lost customer service are taken into account, that figure could more than double (Block 1999).

The trend toward increased costs is not expected to abate. In fact, with the aging of the baby-boom generation, a rise in nonoccupational disability costs is imminent. Because both the likelihood of disability and the duration of any given disability incident increase with age, the costs of lost work time will continue to be a significant management issue. Further, the U.S. labor force is growing more slowly today than it has in the previous three decades. According to Labor Department statistics, the growth rate of the labor force was consistently around 2 percent a year from the 1960s through the 1980s. In the 1990s, that growth dropped to about 1 percent annually. Thus, the overall aging of today's workers is coupled with fewer young people entering the workplace (Block 1999).

A Disability Policy Panel convened by the National Academy of Social Insurance attributes growth in the SSDI program to a number of additional trends (Social Security Policy Panel 1996). First, the economic recession in 1990-1991 fueled an increase in applications for benefits among older workers who lost their jobs because of corporate downsizing and other organizational changes. Yelin (1998) hypothesizes that many of the applications approved during cyclical economic downturns would not have been approved during good times.

Second, the eligible population is larger. Baby boomers are entering the age 35-50 range, in which the risk of disability rises, and many more women in the baby-boom generation have sufficient work experience to be insured for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.

Third, baby boomers who enter the SSDI program because of impairments associated with middle age, such as musculoskeletal disorders (Stapleton and others 1998), are expected to remain beneficiaries for many years (Rupp and Stapleton 1998).

Fourth, cost-containment measures in the privately insured short-term disability, long-term disability, and workers' compensation benefit systems direct workers to the SSDI program in cases where claimants meet the initial SSDI eligibility criteria. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Older Worker's Progression from Private Disability Benefits to Social Security Disability Benefits
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.