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Key Findings Details

The Importance of State Anti-Discrimination Laws on Employer Accommodation and the Movement of their Employees onto Social Security Disability Insurance
Richard V. Burkhauser, Lauren Nicholas and Maximilian D. Schmeiser
WP 2011-251

  • Using Health and Retirement Study data with linked Social Security Administration records, we find that 28 percent of individuals who experienced a work limitation while employed received an accommodation.
  • The probability of receiving an accommodation increased in the post-1992 period following the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Our estimates confirm that accommodation effectively reduces the probability of application for SSDI following the onset of a work limitation.
  • Providing an employee with an accommodation after the onset of a work limitation would reduce applications to the SSDI program by 27 percent within a year and 30 percent within five years of onset.
  • These findings suggest that the provision of workplace accommodations would be an effective strategy for reducing applications for SSDI benefits, and potentially the number of people receiving SSDI.