Work Ability and the Social Insurance Safety Net in the Years Prior to Retirement

Research Report

Work Ability and the Social Insurance Safety Net in the Years Prior to Retirement

Abstract

Questions persist about how well Social Security Disability Insurance, workers' compensation, Supplemental Security Income, and veterans' benefits protect people who are unable to work. This study examines disability benefit receipt, income, and poverty status for a sample of Americans as they age. The results underscore the precarious financial state of most people approaching traditional retirement age with disabilities. Fewer than half of people who meet our disability criteria ever receive disability benefits in their fifties or early sixties. Poverty rates for those who do are more than three times as high after benefit receipt than before disability onset.

Cross-Center Initiative

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