Every year, millions of workers in the United States develop new illnesses or injuries that limit their ability to remain on the job. While some have access to employer-provided early intervention services that help them stay connected to the workforce, many do not. Early intervention services support continued employment for workers who develop a new illness or injury, or experience the worsening of a chronic condition that could limit their ability to work or force them to leave the workforce entirely. This paper explores the recent evidence on early intervention services. The evidence suggests that effective early intervention programs increase worker retention and earnings, limit the time a worker stays away from work, reduce the likelihood of a medical condition leading to a long-term disability, and have the potential to delay application to the Social Security Disability Program (SSDI).
This brief is the third in a series from Urban on A New Direction for Disability Policy.