Income Security for Workers: A Stressed Support System in Need of Innovation
The current mix of public and private programs to support workers after they experience disability onset provides benefits to millions of workers and former workers. Yet, despite the large and growing costs of these programs, the inflation-adjusted household incomes of workers with disabilities have been falling for more than two decades, both absolutely and, especially, relative to the incomes of those without disabilities. The aging of the baby boom generation is likely to make matters worse, and the government's fiscal circumstance will make sustaining existing public programs increasingly difficult. Current policy initiatives might eventually improve the disability support system, but they are not likely to ward off adverse consequences of the pending crisis. Policy changes that leverage existing private-sector practices and capabilities might achieve greater success but have received little attention and are far from proven.
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