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Income Security for Workers: A Stressed Support System in Need of Innovation


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  • David C. Stapleton
  • Richard V. Burkhauser
  • Peiyun She
  • Robert R. Weathers
  • Gina A. Livermore


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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Mathematica Policy Research in its series Mathematica Policy Research Reports with number 6178.

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Length: 17
Date of creation: 30 Mar 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mpr:mprres:6178

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Postal: Mathematica Policy Research P.O. Box 2393 Princeton, NJ 08543-2393 Attn: Communications
Fax: (609) 799-0005
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Keywords: Insurance; Security; Social Security; employment;

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Cited by:
  1. David C. Stapleton, 2012. "Testimony for Hearing on Securing the Future of the Social Security Disability Insurance Program," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 7543, Mathematica Policy Research.
  2. Cain Polidano & Ha Vu, 2012. "Labour market impacts from disability onset," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2012-583, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
  3. David R. Mann & David C. Stapleton, 2011. "Fiscal Austerity and the Transition to Twenty-First Century Disability Policy: A Road Map," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 7214, Mathematica Policy Research.
  4. Cain Polidano & Ha Vu, 2012. "Labour Market Impacts from Disability Onset," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2012n22, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.


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