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An empirical analysis of the social security disability application, appeal, and award process

  • Benitez-Silva, Hugo
  • Buchinsky, Moshe
  • Chan, Hiu Man
  • Rust, John
  • Sheidvasser, Sofia

We provide an empirical analysis of the Social Security disability application, award, and appeal process using the Health and Retirement Survey. We show that the appeal option increases the award probability from 46\% to 73\%. However, this comes at the cost of significant delays: the duration between application and award is over three times longer for those who are awarded benefits after one or more stages of appeal. Our results reveal the importance of self-selection in application and appeal decisions. In particular, an individual's self- assessed disability status emerges as one of the most powerful predictors of application, appeal, and award decisions.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 6 (1999)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 147-178

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:6:y:1999:i:2:p:147-178
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

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  1. Dwyer, Debra Sabatini & Mitchell, Olivia S., 1999. "Health problems as determinants of retirement: Are self-rated measures endogenous?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 173-193, April.
  2. John Bound & Michael Schoenbaum & Timothy Waidmann, 1995. "Race and Education Differences in Disability Status and Labor Force Attachment," NBER Working Papers 5159, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. John Rust & Christopher Phelan, 1997. "How Social Security and Medicare Affect Retirement Behavior in a World of Incomplete Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 781-832, July.
  4. Janice Halpern & Jerry A. Hausman, 1985. "Choice Under Uncertainty: A Model of Applications for the Social Security Disability Insurance Program," NBER Working Papers 1690, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Steven Stern, 1989. "Measuring the Effect of Disability on Labor Force Participation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(3), pages 361-395.
  6. Parsons, Donald O, 1982. "The Male Labour Force Participation Decision: Health, Reported Health, and Economic Incentives," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 49(193), pages 81-91, February.
  7. Haveman, Robert & de Jong, Philip & Wolfe, Barbara, 1991. "Disability Transfers and the Work Decision of Older Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(3), pages 939-49, August.
  8. Brent Kreider, 1999. "Latent Work Disability and Reporting Bias," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(4), pages 734-769.
  9. Timothy Waidmann & John Bound & Michael Schoenbaum, 1995. "The Illusion of Failure: Trends in the Self-Reported Health of the U.S. Elderly," NBER Working Papers 5017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Kreider, Brent & Riphahn, Regina, 1997. "Applications to the US Disability Program: A Semiparametric Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 1559, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Rust, J., 1994. "Using Randomization to Break the Curse of Dimensionality," Working papers 9429, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  12. Parsons, Donald O, 1991. "The Health and Earnings of Rejected Disability Insurance Applicants: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1419-26, December.
  13. John Bound, 1989. "The Health and Earnings of Rejected Disability Insurance Applicants," NBER Working Papers 2816, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Jianting Hu & Kajal Lahiri & Denton R. Vaughan & Bernard Wixon, 2001. "A Structural Model Of Social Security'S Disability Determination Process," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 348-361, May.
  15. John Bound, 1991. "Self-Reported Versus Objective Measures of Health in Retirement Models," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(1), pages 106-138.
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