Permanent Partial Disability from Occupational Injuries

Earnings Losses and Replacement in Three States

by Jeff E. Biddle, Leslie I. Boden, Robert T. Reville

The labor-market consequences of disability can include job loss, reduced income, earlier retirement, and greater reliance on private and social insurance systems to provide income security. In this article, the authors examine the labor-market consequences of work-related disabling injuries and their relationship to the age of injured workers in three states: California, Washington, and Wisconsin. They also report estimates of the adequacy of income benefits received for the injuries from workers' compensation. The authors present evidence that older workers suffer proportionately more injuries with permanently disabling consequences and the losses suffered by older workers are greater, on average, than those of younger workers. They also find that injury-related non-employment is higher among older workers and, moreover, the older workers in the states that were studied appear to recover a smaller proportion of their losses from workers' compensation than do other injured workers.

Originally published in: Ensuring Health and Income Security for an Aging Workforce, pp. 263-290.

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