Cover: Disability Insurance and the Great Recession

Disability Insurance and the Great Recession

Published in: American Economic Review, v. 105, no. 5, May 2015, p. 177-182

Posted on rand.org Jun 19, 2015

by Nicole Maestas, Kathleen J. Mullen, Alexander Strand

The US Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program is designed to provide income support to workers who become unable to work because of a severe, long-lasting disability. In this study, we use administrative data to estimate the effect of labor market conditions, as measured by the unemployment rate, on the number of SSDI applications, the number and composition of initial allowances and denials, and the timing of applications relative to disability onset. We analyze the period of the Great Recession, and compare this period with business cycle effects over the past two decades, from 1992 through 2012.

This report is part of the RAND external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.