Posts Tagged "U.S. Social Security Administration"
June 14, 2022
Does Private Disability Affect Federal Rolls?
Economists have long thought that if employees have disability insurance on the job, they might never migrate over to the government’s disability rolls. A new study finds just the opposite.
In Canada, the existence of short-term disability in the private sector increased the number of people going into the national government’s program by 18,300 in 2015 and increased program spending by 5 percent, according to a researcher at the University of Toronto.
The logic behind this is that enrollment rises in the government program, which provides long-term benefits, because a negative incentive is at play. If employees with a disability or workplace injury have short-term coverage at work, they will have a regular source of income to tide them over while they apply for government benefits and wait for a response.
The Canadian study has implications for the United States, because the two countries’ programs are similar. The connection between U.S. government and employer disability is also of interest because some policymakers here would like to see mandates for employer disability become more widespread. Ten U.S. states and the District of Columbia currently require employers to provide the coverage for serious medical conditions.
This research adds a new voice to a lively debate on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border. Others have argued that when companies offer short-term disability, they prevent some people from going onto the government rolls by giving them time off to recover from an illness or injury before it becomes chronic. Employers also have an incentive to control their insurance costs by preventing injuries or accommodating employees with disabilities so they can keep working. …Learn More
March 1, 2022
Adults with Disabilities Cluster in Regions
When workers develop disabilities on the job, it often has some connection to where they live.
Musculoskeletal conditions like arthritis and tendinitis can happen anywhere but are especially prevalent in a swath surrounding the Kentucky-West Virginia border and running south to Alabama. Intellectual disabilities and mood disorders like autism and depression are common in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
The hot spots, described in new research, represent areas that fall in the top 10 percent of all the areas with awards for the specific condition in many of the years studied, 2005 through 2018.
New Hampshire is a dramatic example: all 10 designated areas of the state were identified as hot spots for awards based on mental disorders in all 14 years.
In addition to mental and musculoskeletal conditions, the researchers from Mathematica found a third major hot spot for circulatory and respiratory disorders like heart disease and asthma. These disorders are prevalent in an area that starts in Indiana and Illinois and flows down the Mississippi River to Mississippi.
The explanations for the hot spots are myriad and complex. Musculoskeletal disabilities constitute the largest single type of benefit award – a third of the U.S. total – and hot spots in the Southeast, where coal mining, agriculture and manufacturing are dominant, tend to have older, less educated populations and more veterans. …Learn More
October 19, 2021
Attorneys Secure Disability Benefits Faster
Hiring an attorney or other representative seems to be helping workers who apply for federal disability insurance.
Legal representation dramatically increases the chances that individuals with disabilities will be awarded benefits at the initial level of review of their applications filed with the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA), new research finds.
Hiring an attorney has been common when applicants appeal an initial denial to an administrative law judge. What’s new is that they are increasingly getting help earlier – when they first file the application – from an attorney or, in some cases, another representative who has passed an SSA test on the agency’s administrative procedures.
But disability experts have debated the value of representatives amid concerns about unscrupulous practices, such as beefing up their fees by dragging out the application process. SSA pays representatives 25 percent of a client’s back benefits that accrue while he or she awaits a decision – up to a $6,000 maximum fee.
This study – the first to examine attorney effectiveness – finds justification for paying the fees. Attorneys increase the share of applicants who are awarded benefits at the initial level of review from a third to more than half, according to the analysis of SSA data for applicants who received an initial decision between 2010 and 2014.
Hiring a representative “leads to earlier disability awards to individuals who would otherwise be awarded benefits only on appeal,” the researchers said. …Learn More