DI Applicants' Characteristics and the Implications for Efforts to Help Them Remain in the Labor Force
- Four at-risk groups had relatively high rates of members who applied for DI within the six-year observation period: (1) new short- and long-term private disability insurance beneficiaries; (2) workers with disabilities at risk of unemployment insurance (UI) benefit receipt, based on a model predicting unemployment receipt within 36 months; (3) new workers’ compensation (WC) recipients; and (4) new UI beneficiaries.
- About half of DI applicants had lower pre-application labor force attachment (intermittent work history or out of the workforce for a lengthy period), no matter the length of the observation period (i.e. 6, 12, 18, or 24 months before application).
- From 2007 to 2013, obesity rose faster among disability program applicants than among the overall working-age population over the study period; initial disability applicants were much more likely to be obese than the working-age population, with that difference only partly reflecting differences in other characteristics between the two groups.
- Information available in initial short-term disability claims can help target early intervention to workers who are at risk of prolonged work disability and therefore are at risk of DI entry; however, more information than is available in the claims data would be necessary to more accurately identify those who ultimately apply for DI.