"Longitudinal Patterns of Medicaid and Medicare Coverage Among Disability Cash Benefit Awardees"
Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72, No. 3, pp. 19-35, 2012
This article explores the role of the Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cash benefit programs in providing access to public health insurance coverage among working-aged people with disabilities, using a sample of administrative records spanning 84 months. We find that complex longitudinal interactions between DI and SSI eligibility determine access to and timing of Medicare and Medicaid coverage. SSI plays an important role in providing a pathway to Medicaid coverage for many low-income individuals during the 29-month combined DI and Medicare waiting periods, when Medicare coverage is not available. After Medicare eligibility kicks in, public health insurance coverage is virtually complete among awardees with some DI involvement. Medicaid coverage continues at or above 90 percent after 2 years for SSI-only awardees. Many people who exit SSI retain their Medicaid coverage, but the gap in coverage between stayers and those who leave SSI increases over time.
"The Growth in Applications for Social Security Disability Insurance: A Spillover Effect from Workers’ Compensation"
Social Security Bulletin 72(3): 69-88, 2012
We investigate the determinants of application for Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) benefits in approximately 45 jurisdictions between 1981 and 1999. We reproduce findings of previous studies of the determinants of DI application then test the additional influence of changes to workers’ compensation program benefits and rules on DI application rates. Our findings indicate that the programs are interrelated: When workers’ compensation benefits declined and eligibility rules tightened in the 1990s, the DI application rate increased.
"Workplace Injuries and the Take-Up of Social Security Disability Benefits"
Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72, No. 3, pp. 1-17, 2012
PAUL O'LEARY, affiliation not provided to SSRN
LESLIE I. BODEN, Boston University - Department of Environmental Health
SETH A. SEABURY, The RAND Corporation
AL OZONOFF, Children's Hospital Boston
ETHAN SCHERER, RAND Corporation
Workplace injuries and illnesses are an important cause of disability. State workers' compensation programs provide almost $60 billion per year in cash and medical-care benefits for those injuries and illnesses. Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) is the largest disability insurance program in the United States, with annual cash payments to disabled workers of $95 billion in 2008. Because injured workers may also receive DI benefits, it is important to understand how those two systems interact to provide benefits. This article uses matched state workers' compensation and Social Security data to study the relationship between workplace injuries and illnesses and DI benefit receipt. We find that having a lost-time injury substantially increases the probability of DI receipt, and, for people who become DI beneficiaries, those with injuries receive DI benefits at younger ages. This relationship remains robust even after we account for important personal and work characteristics.