Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel Paper: How Has the Changing Nature of Work Contributed to SSDI Growth?

Friday, November 13, 2015 : 2:10 PM
Orchid A (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

April Yanyuan Wu and Stephanie Boraas, Mathematica Policy Research
Between 1980 and 2012, SSDI applications increased from 1,262,300 to 2,820,800 (SSA 2013). Although much of this growth can be explained by changes in labor force demographics, the causes of the remaining growth are not well understood. One possible explanation for the remaining growth is the job mismatch hypothesis: potential workers with impairments are unable, or at least increasingly less likely, to satisfy the demands of many jobs, which limits the set of jobs available to the individual and makes disability application more attractive.  Using detailed occupational characteristics from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) linked to the occupations for individual workers in the March Current Population Survey (CPS), this study investigates the extent to which changing job demands have contributed to the growth in the SSDI rolls above and beyond growth caused by changes in the demographics of the labor force. Furthermore, making use of the occupational information from electronic disability claims system (EDCS, 3368 and 3369 form), the study explores the relationship between the distribution of job demands among SSDI applicants and that of nationally representative workers.