Reducing Job Loss among Workers with New Health Problems
Every year, millions of U.S. workers lose their jobs or leave the workforce because of a medical condition. Many people are ultimately awarded Social Security Disability Insurance and Medicare benefits. The authors examine a growing body of research that indicates many workers could stay in the labor force and retain their livelihoods if their needs for prompt and practical extra support are met. The authors describe how common health conditions can progress to unnecessary work disability; present evidence on how well-designed, timely services can substantially reduce such disability; consider the systemic barriers that impede efficient expansion of evidence-based support; and propose policy changes to address these systemic barriers. The authors conclude by asserting that further development and testing of leading proposals, with eventual progression to systemic changes, could prove effective.