A special issue of the IZA Journal of Labor Policy, compiled and co-edited by Gina Livermore, David Neumark, and David Wittenburg, explores the evolution of disability policy in the U.S., the factors contributing to growth in the disability rolls, and the potential for early interventions and employment support to curb this growth.
A rising number of people with disabilities receive cash benefits from the Social Security Administration's (SSA's) disability programs, which include Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. This trend has heightened policy interest in finding alternatives to receiving disability benefits, including employment, to promote the economic well-being of people with disabilities and to alleviate fiscal pressure on the SSA trust fund and federal budget.
This special issue of the IZA Journal of Labor Policy is a resource for those looking for policy solutions to this complex problem. Although the findings do not reveal which approaches would work best, all nine articles in the series suggest that strategically targeting assistance, such as incentives and supports that encourage people with disabilities to stay in the labor force in lieu of applying for benefits has the potential to reduce program growth.
Contributors to the special issue have dedicated it to the memory of David H. Dean, a researcher from the University of Richmond who was a colleague and friend of many in the disability policy community. Dr. Dean passed away on August 11, 2013, leaving behind a legacy of important contributions to the field. His work on disability issues—most notably, the vital interaction between research and policy—will long be regarded for its impact on evidence-based policy, and his indelible spirit will be cherished by all who knew him.
Preparation of this special issue was supported by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), U.S. Department of Education (ED). The issue was funded through NIDRR’s Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Employment Policy and Measurement grant to the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability, under cooperative agreement H133B100030. The contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the ED or any other federal agency (Education Department General Administrative Regulations, 75.620 [b]). The authors are solely responsible for all views expressed and any errors or omissions.
Read the articles:
Dedication to David Dean Joseph M. Ashley, John V. Pepper, Kirsten L. Rowe, Robert M. Schmidt, Steven Stern
Finding Alternatives to Disability Benefit Receipt Gina Livermore, David Wittenburg, David Neumark
The Political Economy of the Disability Insurance: Theory and Evidence of Gubernatorial Learning Radha Iyengar, Giovanni Mastrobuoni
The Relationship Between Timely Delivery of Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Subsequent Federal Disability Benefit Application and Receipt Jody Schimmel Hyde, Todd Honeycutt, David Stapleton
Reconciling Findings on the Employment Effect of Disability Insurance John Bound, Stephan Lindner, Timothy Waidmann
The Effect of Vocational Rehabilitation on the Employment Outcomes of Disability Insurance Beneficiaries: New Evidence from Canada Michele Campolieti, Morley K.L. Gunderson, Jeffrey A Smith
State Vocational Rehabilitation Programs and Federal Disability Insurance: An Analysis of Virginia’s Vocational Rehabilitation Program David Dean, John V. Pepper, Robert M. Schmidt, Steven Stern
Initial Impacts of the Ticket to Work Program: Estimates Based on Exogenous Variation in Ticket Mail Months David Stapleton, Arif Mamun, Jeremy Page
Disability Benefit Growth and Disability Reform in the U.S.: Lessons from Other OECD Nations Richard V Burkhauser, Mary C. Daly, Duncan McVicar, Roger Wilkins
How Do People with Disabilities Cope While Waiting for Disability Insurance Benefits? Norma B. Coe, Stephan Lindner, Kendrew Wong, April Wu