JHR paper looks at unemployment insurance, disability application relationship

02/11/16  Portland, Ore.

CHSE's Stephan Lindner examines relationship between unemployment insurance benefits and applications for Social Security Disability status

Using both aggregate and individual-level data, CHSE Senior Research Associate Stephan Lindner examines the relationship between unemployment benefits and disability applications in a paper in the Winter 2016 Journal of Human Resources.  

He finds suggestive evidence that unemployment benefits decrease applications for Social Security Disability Insurance. The reason for such a negative relationship could be that more generous unemployment benefits reduce the need for unemployed, health-impaired workers to seek disability benefits.

For policy-makers wanting to regulate SSDI enrollment, Lindner's analysis also suggests the importance of examining decisions among particular subgroups (e.g. older workers) who may face special considerations when evaluating the two programs.