Profile of Social Security Disabled Workers and Dependents Who Have a Connection to Workers' Compensation or Public Disability Benefits

by Rene Parent, Incigul Sayman, and Kevin Kulzer
Research and Statistics Note No. 2012-03 (released September 2012)

Rene Parent and Incigul Sayman are with the Office of Program Development and Research, Office of Retirement and Disability Policy (ORDP), Social Security Administration (SSA). Kevin Kulzer is with the Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, ORDP, SSA.

The findings and conclusions presented in this note are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Social Security Administration.

Summary

Selected Abbreviations
DI Disability Insurance
PDB public disability benefit
PIA primary insurance amount
SSA Social Security Administration
WC workers' compensation

This note explores the characteristics of Disability Insurance (DI) beneficiaries and their dependents who also have a connection to workers' compensation (WC) and/or public disability benefits (PDBs). As of December 2008, 8.3 percent of the 9.2 million DI beneficiaries and their dependents had filed for either WC or PDBs. We compare that population to the general DI population by such attributes as age, sex, primary insurance amount, state, diagnosis, and days between disability onset and filing for DI benefits. Of special interest are states, such as California, with large nonoccupational public disability programs. Because California drives much of public disability take-up in the Social Security Administration's San Francisco region and indeed a majority of DI beneficiaries with a connection to PDBs reside in this state, we have included a special focus on California in our analysis.

Introduction

Since 1956, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has provided cash benefits to workers with severe, long-term disabilities who have worked in Social Security–covered employment for the required length of time. Spouses and children of disabled workers may also be eligible for benefits.

Workers' compensation (WC), a state-based program that predates Social Security, provides cash benefits and medical care when employees suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. Unlike Social Security Disability Insurance (DI), WC is payable only for work-related injuries and illness. In addition, five states—New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, California, Hawaii—and Puerto Rico have public disability programs that partially compensate for the loss of wages caused by temporary nonoccupational disability or maternity. Although only those five states and Puerto Rico have general public disability programs for nonoccupational illnesses and injuries, the term "public disability" also refers to certain local programs offered in many states as well as disability coverage for federal government workers.

A significant number of DI beneficiaries also receive state WC and/or public disability benefits (PDBs). Because SSA offsets a portion of the DI benefit in certain cases when a beneficiary is also receiving another disability benefit, the receipt of WC or PDBs presents important administrative issues for the agency. Additionally, people receiving those benefits may have a more recent connection to the workforce and therefore it should be easier to engage them in work incentives, making their characteristics of special interest to SSA. As of December 2008, 8.3 percent of the 9.2 million DI beneficiaries and their dependents had filed for either WC or PDBs.1 About 7.4 percent had filed for WC, while 1.2 percent had filed for PDBs.2 Because the offset applies first to the dependent's share of the benefit and next to the worker's share, a greater proportion of dependent beneficiaries (10.4 percent) than of worker beneficiaries (7.9 percent) had part of their DI benefits offset because the disabled worker was receiving either WC or PDBs.34

In May 2005, the Social Security Bulletin featured several articles on WC, including an assessment of the relationship between DI and WC and a factsheet about the WC offset. In our analysis, we explore the characteristics of DI beneficiaries who have a connection to WC, PDBs, or both, using a data extract from SSA's 2008 Master Beneficiary Record (MBR). We define "connection" as the process of either currently receiving WC and/or PDBs or when the application status for those benefits is pending. We compare workers with this connection to other DI beneficiaries. In general, we find that worker beneficiaries with WC and/or PDBs tend to be older, have higher primary insurance amounts (PIAs), and are more frequently male than the greater DI worker-beneficiary population.5

Legislative Background

The Social Security Amendments of 1955, which instituted disability benefits, also contained an offset provision to prevent duplication of benefits when another federal or state WC periodic benefit was also payable (US Congress 1955). The 1958 amendments removed that offset requirement (US Congress 1958). The report of the 1963–1964 Advisory Council on Social Security (1965) noted concern about the potential administrative difficulty of an offset on disability benefits. Nevertheless, the 1965 amendments reinstituted the offset provision for periodic WC benefits in cases where the total benefits payable to the worker and dependents under both programs would exceed 80 percent of the predisability average monthly earnings covered by Social Security. Because the previous offset had reduced disability benefits by the entire amount of the WC benefit, the Senate Finance Committee report noted that this provision "…would generally avoid the inequity encountered under the previous offset provision, where the reductions that were required frequently resulted in benefits that replaced no more than 30 percent or so of the worker's earnings at disablement" (US Senate 1965).

As part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) of 1981 (Public Law 97-35), Congress added the so-called "Megacap" provision extending the application of the DI offset to any benefit payable (including PDBs) on account of disability under any law or plan of the United States, any state, or political subdivision (US Senate 1981). The law excluded needs-based benefits, Veterans' benefits, private insurance benefits, and benefits based on public employment covered by Social Security from the offset of PDBs. (Those benefits were already excluded from the WC offset as far back as 1957.) Prior to OBRA, several states and Puerto Rico had enacted reverse offset legislation that allowed those states and Puerto Rico to offset WC or PDBs if the recipient was also receiving DI. SSA does not offset DI benefits when WC or PDBs are subject to offset under the statutes of those states.6 The 1981 legislation honored the existing reverse offset statutes, but would not recognize any future state statutes providing for a reverse offset. These changes were enacted as a matter of equity and in recognition of the cost to the DI Trust Fund from an increasing number of states enacting reverse offset statutes.

Also as part of OBRA 1981, Congress raised the age at which the offset ended, from age 62 to 65, so that it would apply to the entire period of DI eligibility. (DI benefits convert to retirement benefits at full-benefit retirement age.) However, when an increase in the full-benefit retirement age was legislated in 1983—effective beginning in 2003—no conforming change was made to the ending point of the WC/PDB offset. Thus, the offset still ends at age 65, even though the full-benefit retirement age will be increasing gradually to age 67.

Geographic Distribution of DI Beneficiaries With WC or PDBs

SSA is organized into 10 regions, as shown in Chart 1. The distribution of DI beneficiaries with a connection to WC or PDBs is somewhat similar to the overall distribution of DI beneficiaries, with the largest numbers seen in the Atlanta region (Table 1). However, the San Francisco and New York regions have a somewhat disproportionate number of workers with a WC or PDB connection: 38 percent of workers with a connection reside in those regions, even though the regions contain only 21 percent of the overall DI population in the United States. The San Francisco region has a disproportionate number of persons with connection to PDBs: 59 percent of all DI workers with that connection reside in the San Francisco region.7 California's large public disability program accounts for most of the public disability recipients in the San Francisco region: The majority, 56 percent, of all disabled workers with a connection to PDBs reside in California (see Table 2).

Chart 1.
Social Security Administration regions
Map of the United States. The Boston region covers Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The New York region covers New Jersey and New York. The Philadelphia region covers Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. The Atlanta region covers Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee. The Chicago region covers Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The Dallas region covers Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. The Kansas City region covers Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. The Denver region covers Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. The San Francisco region covers Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada. And the Seattle region covers Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.
NOTES: The New York region also covers Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The San Francisco region also covers American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
Table 1. Number and percentage distribution of all disabled workers and those who have filed for WC and/or PDBs, by SSA region, December 2008
Region All disabled workers Disabled workers with WC and/or PDBs Disabled workers with WC Disabled workers with PDBs
Number As a percentage of—
Number Percent All disabled workers All disabled workers with WC and/or PDBs Number Percent Number Percent
All regions a 7,426,691 100.0 583,923 7.9 100.0 510,836 100.0 80,778 100.0
Atlanta 1,784,942 24.0 116,872 6.5 20.0 112,095 21.9 6,487 8.0
Boston 387,611 5.2 28,416 7.3 4.9 26,738 5.2 1,936 2.4
Chicago 1,198,763 16.1 71,654 6.0 12.3 68,920 13.5 3,550 4.4
Dallas 883,852 11.9 39,723 4.5 6.8 37,122 7.3 3,065 3.8
Denver 185,014 2.5 14,048 7.6 2.4 11,914 2.3 2,485 3.1
Kansas City 345,606 4.7 18,255 5.3 3.1 17,518 3.4 951 1.2
New York 775,023 10.4 110,733 14.3 19.0 101,691 19.9 10,125 12.5
Philadelphia 752,245 10.1 52,307 7.0 9.0 50,400 9.9 2,231 2.8
San Francisco 825,895 11.1 113,326 13.7 19.4 67,737 13.3 47,790 59.2
Seattle 274,752 3.7 17,300 6.3 3.0 15,607 3.1 1,941 2.4
SOURCES: Social Security Administration, Workers' Compensation and Public Disability Benefit file (100 percent data) and Disabled Beneficiaries and Dependents Master Beneficiary Record file (100 percent data).
NOTE: Figures may not sum to totals because of rounding.
a. Includes beneficiaries in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and in foreign countries.
Table 2. Number and percentage distribution of all disabled workers and those who have filed for WC and/or PDBs, by state or other area of residence, December 2008
State or area All disabled workers Disabled workers with WC and/or PDBs Disabled workers with WC Disabled workers with PDBs
Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
All areas 7,426,691 100.0 583,923 100.0 510,836 100.0 80,778 100.0
Alabama 194,071 2.6 10,613 1.8 10,226 2.0 538 0.7
Alaska 10,961 0.1 539 0.1 461 0.1 84 0.1
Arizona 133,649 1.8 8,281 1.4 7,246 1.4 1,133 1.4
Arkansas 122,215 1.6 5,634 1.0 5,327 1.0 373 0.5
California 617,808 8.3 99,646 17.1 56,377 11.0 45,304 56.1
Colorado 84,316 1.1 7,798 1.3 6,479 1.3 1,534 1.9
Connecticut 72,928 1.0 4,632 0.8 4,479 0.9 190 0.2
Delaware 23,658 0.3 1,606 0.3 1,554 0.3 69 0.1
District of Columbia 11,244 0.2 315 0.1 244 (L) 73 0.1
Florida 434,247 5.8 31,512 5.4 30,046 5.9 2,236 2.8
Georgia 222,221 3.0 16,476 2.8 15,802 3.1 820 1.0
Hawaii 20,738 0.3 1,784 0.3 1,223 0.2 581 0.7
Idaho 34,610 0.5 2,082 0.4 1,814 0.4 294 0.4
Illinois 251,479 3.4 13,331 2.3 12,809 2.5 635 0.8
Indiana 165,211 2.2 4,245 0.7 4,009 0.8 273 0.3
Iowa 65,619 0.9 3,108 0.5 2,985 0.6 150 0.2
Kansas 61,391 0.8 2,803 0.5 2,670 0.5 167 0.2
Kentucky 181,635 2.4 16,803 2.9 16,153 3.2 852 1.1
Louisiana 128,159 1.7 8,821 1.5 8,349 1.6 557 0.7
Maine 52,756 0.7 4,733 0.8 4,608 0.9 178 0.2
Maryland 103,176 1.4 4,493 0.8 4,155 0.8 369 0.5
Massachusetts 172,985 2.3 12,485 2.1 11,969 2.3 601 0.7
Michigan 273,885 3.7 26,964 4.6 26,531 5.2 684 0.8
Minnesota 103,994 1.4 5,328 0.9 5,144 1.0 296 0.4
Mississippi 116,338 1.6 5,582 1.0 5,331 1.0 314 0.4
Missouri 182,085 2.5 10,545 1.8 10,151 2.0 527 0.7
Montana 23,872 0.3 2,489 0.4 2,081 0.4 473 0.6
Nebraska 36,511 0.5 1,799 0.3 1,712 0.3 107 0.1
Nevada 50,974 0.7 3,615 0.6 2,891 0.6 772 1.0
New Hampshire 38,101 0.5 3,010 0.5 2,925 0.6 110 0.1
New Jersey 169,800 2.3 14,381 2.5 10,785 2.1 3,864 4.8
New Mexico 53,200 0.7 3,299 0.6 2,992 0.6 342 0.4
New York 453,315 6.1 65,154 11.2 61,429 12.0 4,228 5.2
North Carolina 281,531 3.8 15,586 2.7 14,987 2.9 735 0.9
North Dakota 12,532 0.2 798 0.1 708 0.1 112 0.1
Ohio 275,449 3.7 14,774 2.5 13,984 2.7 915 1.1
Oklahoma 109,797 1.5 6,893 1.2 6,511 1.3 466 0.6
Oregon 86,460 1.2 4,990 0.9 4,258 0.8 820 1.0
Pennsylvania 339,369 4.6 27,857 4.8 27,074 5.3 930 1.2
Rhode Island 32,151 0.4 2,716 0.5 1,949 0.4 807 1.0
South Carolina 147,289 2.0 9,745 1.7 9,416 1.8 431 0.5
South Dakota 16,198 0.2 811 0.1 758 0.1 73 0.1
Tennessee 207,610 2.8 10,555 1.8 10,134 2.0 561 0.7
Texas 470,481 6.3 15,076 2.6 13,943 2.7 1,327 1.6
Utah 37,244 0.5 1,623 0.3 1,403 0.3 244 0.3
Vermont 18,690 0.3 840 0.1 808 0.2 50 0.1
Virginia 185,122 2.5 9,567 1.6 9,068 1.8 585 0.7
Washington 142,721 1.9 9,689 1.7 9,074 1.8 743 0.9
West Virginia 89,676 1.2 8,469 1.5 8,305 1.6 205 0.3
Wisconsin 128,745 1.7 7,012 1.2 6,443 1.3 747 0.9
Wyoming 10,852 0.1 529 0.1 485 0.1 49 0.1
Outlying areas
Puerto Rico 150,180 2.0 31,198 5.3 29,477 5.8 2,033 2.5
Other a 4,454 0.1 175 (L) 158 (L) 20 (L)
Foreign countries 12,988 0.2 1,114 0.2 936 0.2 197 0.2
SOURCES: Social Security Administration, Workers' Compensation and Public Disability Benefit file (100 percent data) and Disabled Beneficiaries and Dependents Master Beneficiary Record file (100 percent data).
NOTES: Distribution is by state or other area of residence, not by the state paying benefits.
Figures may not sum to totals because of rounding.
(L) = less than 0.05 percent.
a. Includes American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

New York and California have more workers with a connection to WC than any other state, with 12 percent and 11 percent, respectively (see Table 2). These are crucial states when examining WC and PDB populations. Because of California's particularly prominent role, we will examine disabled workers from that state more closely throughout this analysis. (For comparison across all states, see Chart 2 for national figures and Chart 3 for California figures.) In fact, 17.1 percent of all DI workers who have filed for either WC or PDBs reside in California (Table 2). New York—another populous state that offers general PDBs—is second with 11.2 percent. California is also the state with the most disabled workers in general (8.2 percent). New York is third for all disabled workers—6 percent, behind California and Texas. California and New York also report a high proportion of disabled workers who have a connection to either program—almost 16 percent and 14 percent, respectively. In Puerto Rico, which also has a general public disability program, almost 20 percent of disabled workers have a connection (Chart 4). Conversely, states such as Texas and Indiana—in addition to the District of Columbia—are among those that have a very small portion of disabled workers with a connection to either program, at about 3 percent, 2 percent, and another 3 percent, respectively (see Chart 4).

Chart 2.
Distribution of disabled workers and their dependents nationwide who have filed for WC and/or PDBs, December 2008
Bar chart linked to data in table format.
SOURCES: Social Security Administration, Workers' Compensation and Public Disability Benefit file (100 percent data) and Disabled Beneficiaries and Dependents Master Beneficiary Record file (100 percent data).
Chart 3.
Distribution of disabled workers and their dependents in California who have filed for WC and/or PDBs, December 2008
Bar chart linked to data in table format.
SOURCES: Social Security Administration, Workers' Compensation and Public Disability Benefit file (100 percent data) and Disabled Beneficiaries and Dependents Master Beneficiary Record file (100 percent data).
Chart 4.
Distribution of disabled workers in each state (or area of residence) who have filed for WC and/or PDBs, December 2008
Bar chart linked to data in table format.
SOURCES: Social Security Administration, Workers' Compensation and Public Disability Benefit file (100 percent data) and Disabled Beneficiaries and Dependents Master Beneficiary Record file (100 percent data).

Disabled Workers With and Without the Offset

SSA offsets disability benefits if a beneficiary's DI benefit, in combination with his or her WC and/or PDB, exceeds 80 percent of the worker's predisability average current earnings. However, in states with "reverse offset" rules, SSA does not offset DI. In December 2008, 28.8 percent of disabled workers and their dependents (spouses and children) who had a connection to WC or PDBs had their benefits offset, including 7.5 percent who were subject to a reverse offset (as shown in Table 3). More dependents had their benefits offset than workers (35.4 percent compared with 26.8 percent). As mentioned earlier, the offset applies first to the dependent's share of the benefit and next to the worker's share. However, a near majority of beneficiaries (47.1 percent) did not have an offset because of either high average predisability earnings or low combined benefits (the beneficiary's combined DI and WC or PDBs did not exceed 80 percent of his or her predisability income). Note that a sizeable minority (24.1 percent) had their WC or PDB claims pending.8

Table 3. Number and percentage distribution of disabled workers and their dependents (spouses and children) who have filed for WC and/or PDBs, by reason for having or not having an offset, December 2008
Reason for having or not having an offset All disabled workers and dependents Workers Dependents
Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
Total 766,439 100.0 583,923 100.0 182,516 100.0
  With offset
Receipt of—
WC only:
Black lung 335 (L) 239 (L) 96 0.1
Harbor workers and longshoremen 790 0.1 565 0.1 225 0.1
Federal employees 3,392 0.4 2,562 0.4 830 0.5
State WC 139,113 18.2 92,992 15.9 46,121 25.3
PDBs only:
Federal 2,380 0.3 2,033 0.3 347 0.2
State 15,460 2.0 11,742 2.0 3,718 2.0
Local 673 0.1 513 0.1 160 0.1
WC and federal PDBs 31 (L) 25 (L) 6 (L)
WC and state PDBs 878 0.1 665 0.1 213 0.1
WC and local PDBs 16 (L) 12 (L) 4 (L)
Total WC and PDBs with DI offset 163,068 21.3 111,348 19.1 51,720 28.3
Total with reverse offset 57,709 7.5 44,748 7.7 12,961 7.1
Total with both types of offset 220,777 28.8 156,096 26.8 64,681 35.4
  Without offset
High average current earnings 360,615 47.1 287,213 49.2 73,402 40.2
Entitlement to WC or PDBs is pending 185,047 24.1 140,614 24.1 44,433 24.3
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Workers' Compensation and Public Disability Benefit file (100 percent data).
NOTES: Figures may not sum to totals because of rounding.
(L) = less than 0.05 percent.

Economic Well-Being of Beneficiaries With a Connection to WC and/or PDBs

We get an idea of the economic well-being of DI-worker beneficiaries with a connection to WC or PDBs by examining their PIAs (Table 4). Disabled workers with a WC/PDB connection have higher PIAs: About 64 percent have PIAs of $1,000 or more, compared with only about 49 percent of all disabled workers. Although we do not have information on beneficiaries' expenses, higher PIAs suggest that DI beneficiaries who have a connection to either WC or PDBs may be financially better off than other disability beneficiaries.

Table 4. Number and percentage distribution of disabled workers who have filed for WC and/or PDBs, by PIA and sex, December 2008
PIA (dollars) Disabled workers Disabled workers with WC and/or PDBs Disabled workers with WC Disabled workers with PDBs
All Men Women All Men Women All Men Women All Men Women
  Number
Total 7,426,691 3,924,524 3,502,167 583,923 356,004 227,919 510,836 315,339 195,497 80,778 45,247 35,531
Less than 500.00 607,285 203,227 404,058 19,990 5,188 14,802 16,470 3,868 12,602 3,827 1,394 2,433
500.00–599.90 358,281 130,121 228,160 15,005 4,504 10,501 13,181 3,823 9,358 2,070 743 1,327
600.00–699.90 652,988 246,995 405,993 32,109 10,847 21,262 28,689 9,623 19,066 3,958 1,405 2,553
700.00–799.90 795,944 320,684 475,260 45,521 17,936 27,585 40,685 15,988 24,697 5,438 2,197 3,241
800.00–899.90 741,737 329,195 412,542 48,057 21,663 26,394 43,084 19,498 23,586 5,611 2,478 3,133
900.00–999.90 660,885 318,596 342,289 47,619 24,136 23,483 42,619 21,780 20,839 5,637 2,700 2,937
1,000.00–1,099.90 583,079 303,051 280,028 45,924 25,898 20,026 41,099 23,509 17,590 5,454 2,759 2,695
1,100.00–1,199.90 504,699 281,874 222,825 42,958 26,157 16,801 38,353 23,831 14,522 5,165 2,668 2,497
1,200.00–1,299.90 432,133 258,969 173,164 39,341 25,735 13,606 35,072 23,440 11,632 4,750 2,589 2,161
1,300.00–1,399.90 367,795 235,305 132,490 36,123 25,182 10,941 31,884 22,764 9,120 4,663 2,700 1,963
1,400.00–1,499.90 312,882 210,918 101,964 33,083 24,232 8,851 29,166 21,898 7,268 4,394 2,685 1,709
1,500.00–1,599.90 281,000 198,252 82,748 32,428 24,535 7,893 28,272 21,929 6,343 4,543 2,909 1,634
1,600.00–1,699.90 255,911 188,096 67,815 32,650 25,668 6,982 28,204 22,881 5,323 4,917 3,161 1,756
1,700.00–1,799.90 211,820 160,774 51,046 28,562 23,080 5,482 24,544 20,358 4,186 4,404 3,026 1,378
1,800.00–1,899.90 220,125 170,588 49,537 28,480 23,267 5,213 24,351 20,409 3,942 4,412 3,080 1,332
1,900.00–1,999.90 180,204 145,448 34,756 23,200 19,367 3,833 19,529 16,719 2,810 3,926 2,852 1,074
2,000.00–2,099.90 117,721 98,821 18,900 15,201 13,041 2,160 12,509 11,036 1,473 2,856 2,137 719
2,100.00–2,199.90 77,833 67,185 10,648 9,936 8,701 1,235 7,798 7,081 717 2,252 1,720 532
2,200.00 or more 64,369 56,425 7,944 7,736 6,867 869 5,327 4,904 423 2,501 2,044 457
  Percent
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Less than 500.00 8.2 5.2 11.5 3.4 1.5 6.5 3.2 1.2 6.4 4.7 3.1 6.8
500.00–599.90 4.8 3.3 6.5 2.6 1.3 4.6 2.6 1.2 4.8 2.6 1.6 3.7
600.00–699.90 8.8 6.3 11.6 5.5 3.0 9.3 5.6 3.1 9.8 4.9 3.1 7.2
700.00–799.90 10.7 8.2 13.6 7.8 5.0 12.1 8.0 5.1 12.6 6.7 4.9 9.1
800.00–899.90 10.0 8.4 11.8 8.2 6.1 11.6 8.4 6.2 12.1 6.9 5.5 8.8
900.00–999.90 8.9 8.1 9.8 8.2 6.8 10.3 8.3 6.9 10.7 7.0 6.0 8.3
1,000.00–1,099.90 7.9 7.7 8.0 7.9 7.3 8.8 8.0 7.5 9.0 6.8 6.1 7.6
1,100.00–1,199.90 6.8 7.2 6.4 7.4 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.4 6.4 5.9 7.0
1,200.00–1,299.90 5.8 6.6 4.9 6.7 7.2 6.0 6.9 7.4 5.9 5.9 5.7 6.1
1,300.00–1,399.90 5.0 6.0 3.8 6.2 7.1 4.8 6.2 7.2 4.7 5.8 6.0 5.5
1,400.00–1,499.90 4.2 5.4 2.9 5.7 6.8 3.9 5.7 6.9 3.7 5.4 5.9 4.8
1,500.00–1,599.90 3.8 5.1 2.4 5.6 6.9 3.5 5.5 7.0 3.2 5.6 6.4 4.6
1,600.00–1,699.90 3.4 4.8 1.9 5.6 7.2 3.1 5.5 7.3 2.7 6.1 7.0 4.9
1,700.00–1,799.90 2.9 4.1 1.5 4.9 6.5 2.4 4.8 6.5 2.1 5.5 6.7 3.9
1,800.00–1,899.90 3.0 4.3 1.4 4.9 6.5 2.3 4.8 6.5 2.0 5.5 6.8 3.7
1,900.00–1,999.90 2.4 3.7 1.0 4.0 5.4 1.7 3.8 5.3 1.4 4.9 6.3 3.0
2,000.00–2,099.90 1.6 2.5 0.5 2.6 3.7 0.9 2.4 3.5 0.8 3.5 4.7 2.0
2,100.00–2,199.90 1.0 1.7 0.3 1.7 2.4 0.5 1.5 2.2 0.4 2.8 3.8 1.5
2,200.00 or more 0.9 1.4 0.2 1.3 1.9 0.4 1.0 1.6 0.2 3.1 4.5 1.3
SOURCES: Social Security Administration, Workers' Compensation and Public Disability Benefit file (100 percent data) and Disabled Beneficiaries and Dependents Master Beneficiary Record file (100 percent data).
NOTE: Figures may not sum to totals because of rounding.

As with the general DI population, women with a WC/PDB connection have lower PIAs, with 54 percent at less than $1,000 a month, compared with only 24 percent of men. Women with PDBs fare better than those with WC: 44 percent have PIAs under $1,000, compared with 56 percent with a connection to WC (see Table 4). The relative differences between male and female workers are especially notable at the extremes. For instance, 11 percent of WC/PDB female workers have PIAs of less than $600, compared with only 2.8 percent of male workers. Similarly, 2 percent of female workers have PIAs over $2,000, compared with 8 percent of male workers.

Beneficiary Demographics

More disabled workers with a WC/PDB connection are middle aged than those in the general DI population: 88 percent are aged 45–64, compared with 76 percent in the general worker population (Table 5). In addition, only 4.9 percent of disabled workers with a connection to either program are younger than age 40, compared with 11.3 percent in the general DI population.

Table 5. Number and percentage distribution of all disabled workers and their dependents and those who have filed for WC and/or PDBs, by age group and sex, December 2008
Age group All disabled workers All dependents of disabled workers Disabled workers with WC and/or PDBs Dependents of disabled workers with WC and/or PDBs
Spouses Children Spouses Children
All Male Female All Male Female All Male Female All Male Female All Male Female All Male Female
  Number
Total 7,426,691 3,924,524 3,502,167 154,225 5,526 148,699 1,691,870 874,513 817,357 583,923 356,004 227,919 21,179 792 20,387 161,337 83,824 77,513
Under 10 a a a 0 0 0 454,001 231,882 222,119 . . . . . . . . . 0 0 0 37,717 19,264 18,453
10–14 a a a 0 0 0 581,366 296,847 284,519 . . . . . . . . . 0 0 0 57,102 29,450 27,652
15–19 1,160 706 454 22 0 22 578,298 301,411 276,887 8 6 2 2 0 2 59,705 31,173 28,532
20–24 48,872 28,965 19,907 905 5 900 29,420 17,162 12,258 537 351 186 75 0 75 2,541 1,479 1,062
25–29 162,062 90,268 71,794 4,108 49 4,059 21,682 12,229 9,453 2,497 1,603 894 468 3 465 1,974 1,154 820
30–34 241,959 125,312 116,647 8,667 120 8,547 14,224 7,887 6,337 6,963 4,492 2,471 1,352 12 1,340 1,326 749 577
35–39 377,465 191,469 185,996 14,020 263 13,757 8,794 4,854 3,940 18,684 11,972 6,712 2,926 33 2,893 721 415 306
40–44 597,455 308,761 288,694 16,030 377 15,653 3,562 1,943 1,619 41,245 25,829 15,416 3,554 77 3,477 237 132 105
45–49 939,247 488,247 451,000 14,664 364 14,300 498 281 217 78,932 48,613 30,319 3,235 82 3,153 13 8 5
50–54 1,288,060 671,212 616,848 9,349 304 9,045 20 14 6 121,451 73,462 47,989 1,789 52 1,737 1 0 1
55–59 1,612,745 851,524 761,221 4,554 134 4,420 3 2 1 154,621 92,913 61,708 710 27 683 0 0 0
60–64 1,817,644 982,985 834,659 44,683 1,024 43,659 2 1 1 158,985 96,763 62,222 3,996 150 3,846 0 0 0
65 or older 340,022 185,075 154,947 37,223 2,886 34,337 0 0 0 . . . . . . . . . 3,072 356 2,716 0 0 0
  Percent
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Under 10 a a a 0.0 0.0 0.0 26.8 26.5 27.2 . . . . . . . . . 0.0 0.0 0.0 23.4 23.0 23.8
10–14 a a a 0.0 0.0 0.0 34.4 33.9 34.8 . . . . . . . . . 0.0 0.0 0.0 35.4 35.1 35.7
15–19 (L) (L) (L) (L) 0.0 (L) 34.2 34.5 33.9 (L) (L) (L) (L) 0.0 (L) 37.0 37.2 36.8
20–24 0.7 0.7 0.6 0.6 0.1 0.6 1.7 2.0 1.5 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.4 0.0 0.4 1.6 1.8 1.4
25–29 2.2 2.3 2.0 2.7 0.9 2.7 1.3 1.4 1.2 0.4 0.5 0.4 2.2 0.4 2.3 1.2 1.4 1.1
30–34 3.3 3.2 3.3 5.6 2.2 5.7 0.8 0.9 0.8 1.2 1.3 1.1 6.4 1.5 6.6 0.8 0.9 0.7
35–39 5.1 4.9 5.3 9.1 4.8 9.3 0.5 0.6 0.5 3.2 3.4 2.9 13.8 4.2 14.2 0.4 0.5 0.4
40–44 8.0 7.9 8.2 10.4 6.8 10.5 0.2 0.2 0.2 7.1 7.3 6.8 16.8 9.7 17.1 0.1 0.2 0.1
45–49 12.6 12.4 12.9 9.5 6.6 9.6 (L) (L) (L) 13.5 13.7 13.3 15.3 10.4 15.5 (L) (L) (L)
50–54 17.3 17.1 17.6 6.1 5.5 6.1 (L) (L) (L) 20.8 20.6 21.1 8.4 6.6 8.5 (L) 0.0 (L)
55–59 21.7 21.7 21.7 3.0 2.4 3.0 (L) (L) (L) 26.5 26.1 27.1 3.4 3.4 3.4 0.0 0.0 0.0
60–64 24.5 25.0 23.8 29.0 18.5 29.4 (L) (L) (L) 27.2 27.2 27.3 18.9 18.9 18.9 0.0 0.0 0.0
65 or older 4.6 4.7 4.4 24.1 52.2 23.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 . . . . . . . . . 14.5 44.9 13.3 0.0 0.0 0.0
SOURCES: Social Security Administration, Workers' Compensation and Public Disability Benefit file (100 percent data) and Disabled Beneficiaries and Dependents Master Beneficiary Record file (100 percent data).
NOTES: Figures may not sum to totals because of rounding.
. . . = not applicable; (L) = less than 0.05 percent.
a. These beneficiaries are included in the group aged 15–19.

Dependents (spouses and children) make up 23.8 percent of all disability beneficiaries with a connection to WC or PDBs, with children making up a large majority (88.4 percent). Dependents comprise less of the general DI population—19.9 percent, though more of them are children—91.6 percent (see Table 5 for reference only, as data not explicitly shown in table).9

Although men comprise a larger part of the DI rolls than women (53 percent and 47 percent, respectively), that difference is even more pronounced among those with a WC/PDB connection, where 61 percent are men and 39 percent women. As shown in Table 6, the difference between men and women is more pronounced for those workers receiving WC (61.7 percent compared with 38.3 percent) than those receiving PDBs (56 percent compared with 44 percent). In California, men are also more likely than women to have a WC/PDB connection, although the difference is substantially smaller than the national figures—55.8 percent men compared with 44.2 percent women. Similarly, the contrast by sex between a WC connection and a PDB connection is less pronounced in California (see Table 6).

Table 6. Number and percentage distribution of all disabled workers and those who have filed for WC and/or PDBs, nationwide and in California, by sex, December 2008
Disabled-worker WC/PDB status and sex Nationwide California
Number Percent Number Percent
All disabled workers 7,426,691 100.0 617,926 100.0
Male 3,924,524 52.8 329,911 53.4
Female 3,502,167 47.2 288,015 46.6
Disabled workers with WC and/or PDBs 583,923 100.0 99,646 100.0
Male 356,004 61.0 55,576 55.8
Female 227,919 39.0 44,070 44.2
Disabled workers with WC 510,836 100.0 56,377 100.0
Male 315,339 61.7 31,693 56.2
Female 195,497 38.3 24,684 43.8
Disabled workers with PDBs 80,778 100.0 45,304 100.0
Male 45,247 56.0 25,047 55.3
Female 35,531 44.0 20,257 44.7
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Workers' Compensation and Public Disability Benefit file (100 percent data).
NOTE: Figures may not sum to totals because of rounding.

Tables 7 and 8, respectively, show family composition and age group of disabled workers for the general disabled population and for those with a WC/PDB connection. In general, workers with a connection are older on average than other disabled workers. Workers younger than age 40 with a WC/PDB connection are less likely to have dependents than their same-age counterparts in the general DI population. DI families with a connection are also less likely than the general DI population to receive the family maximum benefit,18.6 percent (Table 8) compared with 28.6 percent (Table 7), reflecting the effect of the benefit offset. For instance, only 26.1 percent of WC/PDB disabled-worker families in which the worker is younger than age 30 receive the family maximum benefit (Table 8), compared with 66.5 percent of the general DI family population in the same age group (Table 7).

Table 7. Number and percentage distribution of all disabled workers, by family composition and age group of worker, December 2008
Family composition Total, all ages Under 30 30–34 35–39 40–44 45–49 50–54 55–59 60–FRA
  Number
Worker only 6,190,500 176,041 152,854 208,132 369,259 698,509 1,102,861 1,488,192 1,994,652
Worker with—
Spouse
Aged 62 or older a 91,150 0 1 12 87 389 1,802 8,521 80,338
Child in care 105,530 2,426 6,419 13,141 19,012 21,311 18,359 13,801 11,061
Children
1 child 739,152 25,300 39,149 73,898 126,592 162,838 142,198 97,523 71,654
2 children 312,121 12,910 32,499 61,876 73,165 62,533 37,542 19,554 12,042
3 or more children 133,606 6,543 22,371 35,833 30,305 19,648 10,155 5,324 3,427
Families receiving maximum benefit b 2,169,246 148,344 160,788 246,355 330,131 380,162 337,881 281,744 283,841
  Percent
Worker only 100.0 2.8 2.5 3.4 6.0 11.3 17.8 24.0 32.2
Worker with—
Spouse
Aged 62 or older a 100.0 0.0 (L) (L) 0.1 0.4 2.0 9.3 88.1
Child in care 100.0 2.3 6.1 12.5 18.0 20.2 17.4 13.1 10.5
Children
1 child 100.0 3.4 5.3 10.0 17.1 22.0 19.2 13.2 9.7
2 children 100.0 4.1 10.4 19.8 23.4 20.0 12.0 6.3 3.9
3 or more children 100.0 4.9 16.7 26.8 22.7 14.7 7.6 4.0 2.6
Families receiving maximum benefit b 28.6 66.5 63.5 62.7 53.4 39.4 25.7 17.3 13.1
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Disabled Beneficiaries and Dependents Master Beneficiary Record file (100 percent data).
NOTES: A "family" means beneficiaries entitled on one worker's account. Data include beneficiaries whose benefits are being withheld. Figures may not sum to totals because of rounding.
FRA = full retirement age; (L) = less than 0.05 percent.
a. Includes spouses aged 62 or older with children.
b. Includes families and worker-only beneficiaries for whom the PIA is equal to the family maximum amount. The family maximum is derived by summing the monthly benefit credited (MBC) for each entitled family member and then comparing that total to the family maximum. The MBC is the amount due after applying the offset and all the deductions have been made.
Table 8. Number and percentage distribution of disabled workers who have filed for WC and/or PDBs, by family composition and age group of worker, December 2008
Family composition Total, all ages Under 30 30–34 35–39 40–44 45–49 50–54 55–59 60–64
  Number
Worker only 474,135 2,249 3,510 7,944 21,214 53,136 99,861 140,050 146,171
Worker with—
Spouse
Aged 62 or older a 6,786 0 0 2 7 34 201 968 5,574
Child in care 14,353 131 517 1,683 2,702 3,373 2,886 1,903 1,158
Children
1 child 55,967 341 1,090 3,501 8,796 14,362 13,675 9,231 4,971
2 children 23,362 219 1,115 3,468 5,925 6,033 3,796 1,937 869
3 or more children 9,320 102 731 2,086 2,601 1,994 1,032 532 242
Families receiving maximum benefit b 108,586 793 2,635 8,458 16,691 23,636 22,809 18,827 14,737
  Percent
Worker only 100.0 0.5 0.7 1.7 4.5 11.2 21.1 29.5 30.8
Worker with—
Spouse
Aged 62 or older a 100.0 0.0 0.0 (L) 0.1 0.5 3.0 14.3 82.1
Child in care 100.0 0.9 3.6 11.7 18.8 23.5 20.1 13.3 8.1
Children
1 child 100.0 0.6 1.9 6.3 15.7 25.7 24.4 16.5 8.9
2 children 100.0 0.9 4.8 14.8 25.4 25.8 16.2 8.3 3.7
3 or more children 100.0 1.1 7.8 22.4 27.9 21.4 11.1 5.7 2.6
Families receiving maximum benefit b 18.6 26.1 37.8 45.3 40.5 29.9 18.8 12.2 9.3
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Workers' Compensation and Public Disability Benefit file (100 percent data).
NOTES: A "family" means beneficiaries entitled on one worker's account. Data include beneficiaries whose benefits are being withheld. Figures may not sum to totals because of rounding.
(L) = less than 0.05 percent.
a. Includes spouses aged 62 or older with children.
b. Includes families and worker-only beneficiaries for whom the PIA is equal to the family maximum amount. The family maximum is derived by summing the monthly benefit credited (MBC) for each entitled family member and then comparing that total to the family maximum. The MBC is the amount due after applying the offset and all the deductions have been made.

Types of Impairments

The majority of disabled workers with a connection to WC or PDBs qualify for benefits under the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue diagnostic group—54.6 percent (see Table 9). Mental disorders other than intellectual disability are second with 18.8 percent. Those are the two most frequent disabilities for all disabled workers as well, although the musculoskeletal category is not as prominent: 27 percent qualified because of a musculoskeletal system and connective tissue impairment, while nearly 29 percent had a mental disorder other than intellectual disability (Table 9). The general DI population is also much more likely to qualify because of intellectual disability than those with a connection to either WC or PDBs. Californians with a connection to either program fall somewhere between all disabled workers and disabled workers with a WC/PDB connection, with 41.4 percent having a musculoskeletal system and connective tissue impairment and 24.7 percent having a mental disorder other than intellectual disability (see Table 9).

Table 9. Number and percentage distribution of all disabled workers and those nationwide and in California who have filed for WC and/or PDBs, by diagnostic group, December 2008
Diagnostic group All disabled workers Disabled workers with WC and/or PDBs
Nationwide California
Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
Total 7,426,691 100.0 583,923 100.0 99,646 100.0
Congenital anomalies 12,801 0.2 334 0.1 62 0.1
Endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases 270,794 3.6 13,142 2.3 2,264 2.3
Infectious and parasitic diseases 118,282 1.6 4,953 0.8 2,538 2.5
Injuries 315,365 4.2 39,812 6.8 5,424 5.4
Mental disorders 2,469,423 33.3 116,065 19.9 25,032 25.1
Intellectual disability 346,967 4.7 6,516 1.1 433 0.4
Other 2,122,456 28.6 109,549 18.8 24,599 24.7
Neoplasms 220,871 3.0 6,422 1.1 3,302 3.3
Diseases of the—
Blood and blood-forming organs 18,867 0.3 440 0.1 157 0.2
Circulatory system 668,281 9.0 22,529 3.9 5,925 5.9
Digestive system 118,111 1.6 3,789 0.6 1,281 1.3
Genitourinary system 126,491 1.7 3,289 0.6 1,832 1.8
Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue 2,005,325 27.0 318,928 54.6 41,225 41.4
Nervous system and sense organs 702,772 9.5 34,553 5.9 8,344 8.4
Respiratory system 221,138 3.0 9,117 1.6 1,321 1.3
Skin and subcutaneous tissue 17,776 0.2 756 0.1 155 0.2
Other 17,104 0.2 687 0.1 226 0.2
Unknown 123,290 1.7 9,107 1.6 558 0.6
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Workers' Compensation and Public Disability Benefit file (100 percent data).
NOTE: Figures may not sum to totals because of rounding.

The percentage among those with a WC/PDB connection who have a musculoskeletal system and connective tissue disorder increases with age. Disabled persons younger than age 35 with a WC/PDB connection have the lowest rate of musculoskeletal disorders, with 32.2 percent, while those aged 60–64 have the highest rate, with 57.9 percent (Table 10; see Table 11 for California figures). That pattern holds true for all disabled workers, although the rate of musculoskeletal disorders is lower across the board, accounting for 4.1 percent of the disabilities for those younger than age 30 and 34.7 percent for those in the group aged 60–FRA (see Table 12 for reference only, as data not explicitly shown in table; see Table 13 for comparable California figures).10 Again, disabled workers in California with a connection to either WC or PDBs fall somewhere in between: The percentage of those with a musculoskeletal ailment increases with age from 13.2 percent of those under age 35 to 48.0 percent of those aged 60–64 (Table 11).

Table 10. Number and percentage distribution of disabled workers nationwide who have filed for WC and/or PDBs, by diagnostic group and age group, December 2008
Diagnostic group Total, all ages Under 35 35–39 40–44 45–49 50–54 55–59 60–64
  Number
Total 583,923 10,005 18,684 41,245 78,932 121,451 154,621 158,985
Congenital anomalies 334 14 23 31 58 62 71 75
Endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases 13,142 98 234 669 1,496 2,716 3,808 4,121
Infectious and parasitic diseases 4,967 76 177 538 988 1,188 1,166 834
Injuries 39,812 1,588 1,956 3,389 5,550 7,799 9,368 10,162
Mental disorders
Intellectual disability 6,516 190 323 771 1,219 1,507 1,349 1,157
Other 109,549 3,139 4,830 10,144 18,055 24,493 26,382 22,506
Neoplasms 6,408 200 211 374 792 1,308 1,723 1,800
Diseases of the—
Blood and blood-forming organs 440 35 17 35 71 92 101 89
Circulatory system 22,529 170 285 746 1,731 3,605 6,651 9,341
Digestive system 3,789 51 88 209 511 918 1,179 833
Genitourinary system 3,289 189 210 334 490 676 730 660
Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue 318,928 3,220 8,562 20,268 40,969 66,178 87,650 92,081
Nervous system and sense organs 34,553 828 1,354 2,791 4,866 7,045 8,878 8,791
Respiratory system 9,117 66 147 333 808 1,594 2,683 3,486
Skin and subcutaneous tissue 756 16 32 62 112 160 179 195
Other 687 19 22 50 94 172 171 159
Unknown 9,107 106 213 501 1,122 1,938 2,532 2,695
  Percent
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Congenital anomalies 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 (L) (L)
Endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases 2.3 1.0 1.3 1.6 1.9 2.2 2.5 2.6
Infectious and parasitic diseases 0.9 0.8 0.9 1.3 1.3 1.0 0.8 0.5
Injuries 6.8 15.9 10.5 8.2 7.0 6.4 6.1 6.4
Mental disorders
Intellectual disability 1.1 1.9 1.7 1.9 1.5 1.2 0.9 0.7
Other 18.8 31.4 25.9 24.6 22.9 20.2 17.1 14.2
Neoplasms 1.1 2.0 1.1 0.9 1.0 1.1 1.1 1.1
Diseases of the—
Blood and blood-forming organs 0.1 0.3 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Circulatory system 3.9 1.7 1.5 1.8 2.2 3.0 4.3 5.9
Digestive system 0.6 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.6 0.8 0.8 0.5
Genitourinary system 0.6 1.9 1.1 0.8 0.6 0.6 0.5 0.4
Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue 54.6 32.2 45.8 49.1 51.9 54.5 56.7 57.9
Nervous system and sense organs 5.9 8.3 7.2 6.8 6.2 5.8 5.7 5.5
Respiratory system 1.6 0.7 0.8 0.8 1.0 1.3 1.7 2.2
Skin and subcutaneous tissue 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Other 0.1 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Unknown 1.6 1.1 1.1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.6 1.7
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Workers' Compensation and Public Disability Benefit file (100 percent data).
NOTES: Figures may not sum to totals because of rounding.
(L) = less than 0.05 percent.
Table 11. Number and percentage distribution of disabled workers in California who have filed for WC and/or PDBs, by diagnostic group and age group, December 2008
Diagnostic group Total, all ages Under 35 35–39 40–44 45–49 50–54 55–59 60–64
  Number
Total 99,646 2,780 3,214 6,458 12,117 19,652 26,791 28,634
Congenital anomalies 62 8 8 4 12 9 12 9
Endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases 2,264 30 43 68 194 442 664 823
Infectious and parasitic diseases 2,538 53 110 280 545 627 562 361
Injuries 5,424 308 246 448 711 1,048 1,231 1,432
Mental disorders
Intellectual disability 433 36 40 63 89 84 75 46
Other 24,599 1,269 1,244 2,311 3,826 5,127 5,665 5,157
Neoplasms 3,302 147 139 200 398 677 861 880
Diseases of the—
Blood and blood-forming organs 157 21 5 12 20 32 40 27
Circulatory system 5,925 73 71 208 418 974 1,701 2,480
Digestive system 1,281 22 24 69 146 325 413 282
Genitourinary system 1,832 138 127 191 268 365 393 350
Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue 41,225 368 789 1,876 4,201 7,898 12,354 13,739
Nervous system and sense organs 8,344 260 308 625 1,056 1,651 2,210 2,234
Respiratory system 1,321 18 28 41 107 209 364 554
Skin and subcutaneous tissue 155 8 8 10 18 28 37 46
Other 226 7 7 18 27 54 57 56
Unknown 558 14 17 34 81 102 152 158
  Percent
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Congenital anomalies 0.1 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.1 (L) (L) (L)
Endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases 2.3 1.1 1.3 1.1 1.6 2.2 2.5 2.9
Infectious and parasitic diseases 2.5 1.9 3.4 4.3 4.5 3.2 2.1 1.3
Injuries 5.4 11.1 7.7 6.9 5.9 5.3 4.6 5.0
Mental disorders
Intellectual disability 0.4 1.3 1.2 1.0 0.7 0.4 0.3 0.2
Other 24.7 45.6 38.7 35.8 31.6 26.1 21.1 18.0
Neoplasms 3.3 5.3 4.3 3.1 3.3 3.4 3.2 3.1
Diseases of the—
Blood and blood-forming organs 0.2 0.8 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.1
Circulatory system 5.9 2.6 2.2 3.2 3.4 5.0 6.3 8.7
Digestive system 1.3 0.8 0.7 1.1 1.2 1.7 1.5 1.0
Genitourinary system 1.8 5.0 4.0 3.0 2.2 1.9 1.5 1.2
Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue 41.4 13.2 24.5 29.0 34.7 40.2 46.1 48.0
Nervous system and sense organs 8.4 9.4 9.6 9.7 8.7 8.4 8.2 7.8
Respiratory system 1.3 0.6 0.9 0.6 0.9 1.1 1.4 1.9
Skin and subcutaneous tissue 0.2 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2
Other 0.2 0.3 0.2 0.3 0.2 0.3 0.2 0.2
Unknown 0.6 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.7 0.5 0.6 0.6
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Workers' Compensation and Public Disability Benefit file (100 percent data).
NOTES: Figures may not sum to totals because of rounding.
(L) = less than 0.05 percent.
Table 12. Number and percentage distribution of all disabled workers nationwide, by diagnostic group and age group, December 2008
Diagnostic group Total Under 25 25–29 30–34 35–39 40–44 45–49 50–54 55–59 60–64 65–FRA
  Number
Total 7,426,691 50,032 162,062 241,959 377,465 597,455 939,247 1,288,060 1,612,745 1,817,644 340,022
Congenital anomalies 12,801 531 1,322 1,379 1,390 1,468 1,518 1,534 1,640 1,700 319
Endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases 270,794 719 2,342 4,494 9,166 16,396 28,804 47,074 67,220 79,743 14,836
Infectious and parasitic diseases 118,282 246 1,299 3,324 8,023 17,545 24,311 23,736 21,330 16,034 2,434
Injuries 315,365 3,322 8,752 12,060 18,571 28,734 43,429 54,833 63,151 69,395 13,118
Mental disorders
Intellectual disability 346,967 9,802 29,231 32,995 37,977 46,454 54,005 54,207 44,165 32,970 5,161
Other 2,122,456 22,739 77,988 113,511 161,367 230,374 334,189 389,535 392,222 347,788 52,743
Neoplasms 220,871 1,605 3,429 4,903 7,925 13,615 24,414 37,831 51,475 64,041 11,633
Diseases of the—
Blood and blood-forming organs 18,867 750 1,540 1,583 1,703 1,958 2,346 2,758 2,813 2,887 529
Circulatory system 668,281 683 2,658 5,617 11,507 23,441 49,714 96,796 171,121 251,835 54,909
Digestive system 118,111 469 1,707 2,935 5,202 9,183 16,851 25,338 28,569 23,985 3,872
Genitourinary system 126,491 1,197 3,629 6,113 10,187 13,949 18,298 22,176 24,183 22,835 3,924
Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue 2,005,325 1,478 7,305 20,164 51,177 109,196 212,191 348,906 507,126 625,603 122,179
Nervous system and sense organs 702,772 5,559 17,608 27,172 43,238 66,268 92,995 121,302 145,516 154,530 28,584
Respiratory system 221,138 281 1,006 1,952 3,722 7,797 17,036 33,134 54,933 83,406 17,871
Skin and subcutaneous tissue 17,776 103 403 650 1,058 1,710 2,605 3,267 3,704 3,618 658
Other 17,104 149 410 609 998 1,613 2,469 3,117 3,530 3,544 665
Unknown 123,290 399 1,433 2,498 4,254 7,754 14,072 22,516 30,047 33,730 6,587
  Percent
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Congenital anomalies 0.2 1.1 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases 3.6 1.4 1.4 1.9 2.4 2.7 3.1 3.7 4.2 4.4 4.4
Infectious and parasitic diseases 1.6 0.5 0.8 1.4 2.1 2.9 2.6 1.8 1.3 0.9 0.7
Injuries 4.2 6.6 5.4 5.0 4.9 4.8 4.6 4.3 3.9 3.8 3.9
Mental disorders
Intellectual disability 4.7 19.6 18.0 13.6 10.1 7.8 5.7 4.2 2.7 1.8 1.5
Other 28.6 45.4 48.1 46.9 42.8 38.6 35.6 30.2 24.3 19.1 15.5
Neoplasms 3.0 3.2 2.1 2.0 2.1 2.3 2.6 2.9 3.2 3.5 3.4
Diseases of the—
Blood and blood-forming organs 0.3 1.5 1.0 0.7 0.5 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2
Circulatory system 9.0 1.4 1.6 2.3 3.0 3.9 5.3 7.5 10.6 13.9 16.1
Digestive system 1.6 0.9 1.1 1.2 1.4 1.5 1.8 2.0 1.8 1.3 1.1
Genitourinary system 1.7 2.4 2.2 2.5 2.7 2.3 1.9 1.7 1.5 1.3 1.2
Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue 27.0 3.0 4.5 8.3 13.6 18.3 22.6 27.1 31.4 34.4 35.9
Nervous system and sense organs 9.5 11.1 10.9 11.2 11.5 11.1 9.9 9.4 9.0 8.5 8.4
Respiratory system 3.0 0.6 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.3 1.8 2.6 3.4 4.6 5.3
Skin and subcutaneous tissue 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2
Other 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2
Unknown 1.7 0.8 0.9 1.0 1.1 1.3 1.5 1.7 1.9 1.9 1.9
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Workers' Compensation and Public Disability Benefit file (100 percent data).
NOTES: Figures may not sum to totals because of rounding.
FRA = full retirement age.
Table 13. Number and percentage distribution of all disabled workers in California, by diagnostic group and age group, December 2008
Diagnostic group Total Under 25 25–29 30–34 35–39 40–44 45–49 50–54 55–59 60–64 65–FRA
  Number
Total 617,808 4,168 13,725 18,936 29,250 47,666 76,317 107,552 137,712 153,460 29,022
Congenital anomalies 909 32 106 75 93 100 120 99 139 133 12
Endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases 19,000 39 124 218 464 819 1,722 3,083 4,935 6,327 1,269
Infectious and parasitic diseases 14,822 20 108 286 862 2,155 3,266 3,301 2,625 1,919 280
Injuries 27,368 316 833 988 1,424 2,303 3,502 4,770 5,709 6,319 1,204
Mental disorders 221,203 2,683 9,240 11,975 16,693 24,021 34,314 40,222 40,682 35,750 5,623
Intellectual disability 17,705 546 1,778 1,858 2,104 2,620 2,674 2,617 2,007 1,320 181
Other 203,498 2,137 7,462 10,117 14,589 21,401 31,640 37,605 38,675 34,430 5,442
Neoplasms 18,714 158 344 416 671 1,173 2,030 3,103 4,510 5,315 994
Diseases of the—
Blood and blood-forming organs 1,315 46 96 78 100 134 175 215 222 214 35
Circulatory system 44,457 56 228 431 761 1,601 3,190 6,427 11,252 16,764 3,747
Digestive system 10,718 30 108 193 332 690 1,321 2,376 2,868 2,408 392
Genitourinary system 13,166 130 398 596 938 1,362 1,901 2,382 2,660 2,417 382
Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue 167,763 169 578 1,404 3,347 7,252 15,240 28,163 44,711 55,795 11,104
Nervous system and sense organs 59,135 433 1,359 1,967 3,063 5,091 7,662 10,359 12,855 13,727 2,619
Respiratory system 10,721 20 60 119 164 355 816 1,479 2,535 4,232 941
Skin and subcutaneous tissue 1,277 6 32 38 66 112 186 236 233 306 62
Other 1,607 11 43 46 93 148 228 297 359 334 48
Unknown 5,633 19 68 106 179 350 644 1,040 1,417 1,500 310
  Percent
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Congenital anomalies 0.1 0.8 0.8 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1 (L)
Endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases 3.1 0.9 0.9 1.2 1.6 1.7 2.3 2.9 3.6 4.1 4.4
Infectious and parasitic diseases 2.4 0.5 0.8 1.5 2.9 4.5 4.3 3.1 1.9 1.3 1.0
Injuries 4.4 7.6 6.1 5.2 4.9 4.8 4.6 4.4 4.1 4.1 4.1
Mental disorders 35.8 64.4 67.3 63.2 57.1 50.4 45.0 37.4 29.5 23.3 19.4
Intellectual disability 2.9 13.1 13.0 9.8 7.2 5.5 3.5 2.4 1.5 0.9 0.6
Other 32.9 51.3 54.4 53.4 49.9 44.9 41.5 35.0 28.1 22.4 18.8
Neoplasms 3.0 3.8 2.5 2.2 2.3 2.5 2.7 2.9 3.3 3.5 3.4
Diseases of the—
Blood and blood-forming organs 0.2 1.1 0.7 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.1
Circulatory system 7.2 1.3 1.7 2.3 2.6 3.4 4.2 6.0 8.2 10.9 12.9
Digestive system 1.7 0.7 0.8 1.0 1.1 1.4 1.7 2.2 2.1 1.6 1.4
Genitourinary system 2.1 3.1 2.9 3.1 3.2 2.9 2.5 2.2 1.9 1.6 1.3
Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue 27.2 4.1 4.2 7.4 11.4 15.2 20.0 26.2 32.5 36.4 38.3
Nervous system and sense organs 9.6 10.4 9.9 10.4 10.5 10.7 10.0 9.6 9.3 8.9 9.0
Respiratory system 1.7 0.5 0.4 0.6 0.6 0.7 1.1 1.4 1.8 2.8 3.2
Skin and subcutaneous tissue 0.2 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2
Other 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.2
Unknown 0.9 0.5 0.5 0.6 0.6 0.7 0.8 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.1
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Workers' Compensation and Public Disability Benefit file (100 percent data).
NOTES: Figures may not sum to totals because of rounding.
FRA = full retirement age; (L) = less than 0.05 percent.

The opposite is true for the mental disorders category. In general, the younger a worker is, the more likely he or she is to claim disability based on a mental disorder other than intellectual disability. For instance, 31.4 percent of those younger than age 35 with a WC/PDB connection have a mental impairment, while only 14.2 percent of those aged 60–64 claim under the same diagnostic group (Table 10; see Table 11 for comparable California figures). Again this pattern holds when we look at all disabled workers, where mental disorders are an even more prominent category: 47.5 percent of those younger than age 30 claim a mental disorder, while this is true for 18.6 percent of disabled workers aged 60 or older (see Table 12 for reference only, as data not explicitly shown in table; see Table 13 for comparable California figures).11

We see some differences in diagnostic groups between individuals receiving WC compared with those receiving PDBs (see Table 14 for data on disabled workers who have filed for PDBs and Table 15 for comparable California figures). For all age groups, workers with a connection to WC are much more likely to have a musculoskeletal disorder than those with a PDB connection, 58.5 percent (see Table 16 for data on disabled workers who have filed for WC and Table 17 for comparable California figures) compared with 29.5 percent (Table 14). That may be because WC is predicated on a job-related injury and many occupational injuries are musculoskeletal in nature.12 California exhibits a similar pattern with 56.2 percent of those with a WC connection filing under the musculoskeletal system (Table 17), compared with 23.5 percent of those with PDBs (Table 15). The opposite is true for mental disorders other than intellectual disability: People with a WC connection have a 17.6 percent rate of filing under mental disorders (Table 16), compared with 26.5 percent of those with PDBs (Table 14).

Table 14. Number and percentage distribution of disabled workers nationwide who have filed for PDBs, by diagnostic group and age group, December 2008
Diagnostic group Total, all ages Under 35 35–39 40–44 45–49 50–54 55–59 60–64
  Number
Total 80,778 2,426 2,369 4,798 9,254 15,372 21,622 24,937
Congenital anomalies 68 7 7 6 11 5 12 20
Endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases 2,346 33 43 79 205 441 674 871
Infectious and parasitic diseases 2,630 58 96 294 548 645 596 393
Injuries 4,131 283 189 340 563 802 901 1,053
Mental disorders
Intellectual disability 426 29 17 39 77 82 95 87
Other 21,411 1,100 925 1,717 2,965 4,317 5,210 5,177
Neoplasms 3,884 169 153 232 460 778 1,019 1,073
Diseases of the—
Blood and blood-forming organs 177 16 8 12 27 37 37 40
Circulatory system 7,330 83 100 236 486 1,115 2,121 3,189
Digestive system 1,476 25 28 81 181 344 468 349
Genitourinary system 2,037 153 141 212 285 407 444 395
Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue 23,843 183 345 939 2,185 4,291 7,061 8,839
Nervous system and sense organs 7,979 235 260 495 1,013 1,566 2,137 2,273
Respiratory system 1,707 22 25 46 117 261 488 748
Skin and subcutaneous tissue 171 7 13 15 15 31 42 48
Other 238 9 5 20 24 64 61 55
Unknown 924 14 14 35 92 186 256 327
  Percent
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Congenital anomalies 0.1 0.3 0.3 0.1 0.1 (L) 0.1 0.1
Endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases 2.9 1.4 1.8 1.6 2.2 2.9 3.1 3.5
Infectious and parasitic diseases 3.3 2.4 4.1 6.1 5.9 4.2 2.8 1.6
Injuries 5.1 11.7 8.0 7.1 6.1 5.2 4.2 4.2
Mental disorders
Intellectual disability 0.5 1.2 0.7 0.8 0.8 0.5 0.4 0.3
Other 26.5 45.3 39.0 35.8 32.0 28.1 24.1 20.8
Neoplasms 4.8 7.0 6.5 4.8 5.0 5.1 4.7 4.3
Diseases of the—
Blood and blood-forming organs 0.2 0.7 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2
Circulatory system 9.1 3.4 4.2 4.9 5.3 7.3 9.8 12.8
Digestive system 1.8 1.0 1.2 1.7 2.0 2.2 2.2 1.4
Genitourinary system 2.5 6.3 6.0 4.4 3.1 2.6 2.1 1.6
Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue 29.5 7.5 14.6 19.6 23.6 27.9 32.7 35.4
Nervous system and sense organs 9.9 9.7 11.0 10.3 10.9 10.2 9.9 9.1
Respiratory system 2.1 0.9 1.1 1.0 1.3 1.7 2.3 3.0
Skin and subcutaneous tissue 0.2 0.3 0.5 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2
Other 0.3 0.4 0.2 0.4 0.3 0.4 0.3 0.2
Unknown 1.1 0.6 0.6 0.7 1.0 1.2 1.2 1.3
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Workers' Compensation and Public Disability Benefit file (100 percent data).
NOTES: Figures may not sum to totals because of rounding.
(L) = less than 0.05 percent.
Table 15. Number and percentage distribution of disabled workers in California who have filed for PDBs, by diagnostic group and age group, December 2008
Diagnostic group Total, all ages Under 35 35–39 40–44 45–49 50–54 55–59 60–64
  Number
Total 45,304 1,882 1,540 2,895 5,281 8,735 11,816 13,155
Congenital anomalies 36 5 (X) 3 7 (X) 7 8
Endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases 1,273 25 30 40 100 244 361 473
Infectious and parasitic diseases 1,979 49 78 212 420 487 450 283
Injuries 2,090 191 108 174 271 407 435 504
Mental disorders
Intellectual disability 128 24 11 11 20 19 26 17
Other 12,903 903 647 1,127 1,860 2,549 2,925 2,892
Neoplasms 2,966 142 132 180 366 603 768 775
Diseases of the—
Blood and blood-forming organs 122 14 4 9 17 27 27 24
Circulatory system 4,476 65 56 151 300 732 1,282 1,890
Digestive system 1,011 18 17 61 122 245 326 222
Genitourinary system 1,567 129 114 167 228 304 338 287
Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue 10,629 108 157 403 874 1,949 3,193 3,945
Nervous system and sense organs 4,706 172 156 303 582 933 1,280 1,280
Respiratory system 945 17 15 26 66 141 263 417
Skin and subcutaneous tissue 98 6 (X) 8 8 (X) 26 30
Other 149 7 3 11 13 38 37 40
Unknown 226 7 4 9 27 39 72 68
  Percent
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Congenital anomalies 0.1 0.3 (X) 0.1 0.1 (X) 0.1 0.1
Endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases 2.8 1.3 1.9 1.4 1.9 2.8 3.1 3.6
Infectious and parasitic diseases 4.4 2.6 5.1 7.3 8.0 5.6 3.8 2.2
Injuries 4.6 10.1 7.0 6.0 5.1 4.7 3.7 3.8
Mental disorders
Intellectual disability 0.3 1.3 0.7 0.4 0.4 0.2 0.2 0.1
Other 28.5 48.0 42.0 38.9 35.2 29.2 24.8 22.0
Neoplasms 6.5 7.5 8.6 6.2 6.9 6.9 6.5 5.9
Diseases of the—
Blood and blood-forming organs 0.3 0.7 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.2
Circulatory system 9.9 3.5 3.6 5.2 5.7 8.4 10.8 14.4
Digestive system 2.2 1.0 1.1 2.1 2.3 2.8 2.8 1.7
Genitourinary system 3.5 6.9 7.4 5.8 4.3 3.5 2.9 2.2
Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue 23.5 5.7 10.2 13.9 16.5 22.3 27.0 30.0
Nervous system and sense organs 10.4 9.1 10.1 10.5 11.0 10.7 10.8 9.7
Respiratory system 2.1 0.9 1.0 0.9 1.2 1.6 2.2 3.2
Skin and subcutaneous tissue 0.2 0.3 (X) 0.3 0.2 (X) 0.2 0.2
Other 0.3 0.4 0.2 0.4 0.2 0.4 0.3 0.3
Unknown 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.5 0.4 0.6 0.5
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Workers' Compensation and Public Disability Benefit file (100 percent data).
NOTES: Figures may not sum to totals because of rounding.
(X) = suppressed to avoid disclosing information about particular individuals.
Table 16. Number and percentage distribution of disabled workers nationwide who have filed for WC, by diagnostic group and age group, December 2008
Diagnostic group Total, all ages Under 35 35–39 40–44 45–49 50–54 55–59 60–64
  Number
Total 510,836 7,627 16,460 36,811 70,538 107,571 135,093 136,736
Congenital anomalies 271 7 17 25 48 57 59 58
Endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases 11,044 65 193 595 1,316 2,326 3,211 3,338
Infectious and parasitic diseases 2,414 18 82 252 453 564 591 454
Injuries 36,102 1,310 1,782 3,080 5,047 7,084 8,558 9,241
Mental disorders
Intellectual disability 6,193 161 310 741 1,163 1,445 1,280 1,093
Other 89,759 2,060 3,952 8,536 15,315 20,558 21,595 17,743
Neoplasms 2,558 32 61 142 335 537 708 743
Diseases of the—
Blood and blood-forming organs 267 19 9 23 45 56 64 51
Circulatory system 15,520 88 187 513 1,262 2,535 4,623 6,312
Digestive system 2,377 26 63 133 340 586 729 500
Genitourinary system 1,298 36 70 125 213 284 293 277
Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue 299,061 3,052 8,267 19,485 39,182 62,595 81,718 84,762
Nervous system and sense organs 27,048 597 1,104 2,323 3,907 5,568 6,859 6,690
Respiratory system 7,508 44 124 289 698 1,350 2,224 2,779
Skin and subcutaneous tissue 596 9 20 48 98 131 138 152
Other 457 10 17 30 70 110 115 105
Unknown 8,363 93 202 471 1,046 1,785 2,328 2,438
  Percent
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Congenital anomalies 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 (L) (L)
Endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases 2.2 0.9 1.2 1.6 1.9 2.2 2.4 2.4
Infectious and parasitic diseases 0.5 0.2 0.5 0.7 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3
Injuries 7.1 17.2 10.8 8.4 7.2 6.6 6.3 6.8
Mental disorders
Intellectual disability 1.2 2.1 1.9 2.0 1.6 1.3 0.9 0.8
Other 17.6 27.0 24.0 23.2 21.7 19.1 16.0 13.0
Neoplasms 0.5 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
Diseases of the—
Blood and blood-forming organs 0.1 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 (L) (L)
Circulatory system 3.0 1.2 1.1 1.4 1.8 2.4 3.4 4.6
Digestive system 0.5 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.4
Genitourinary system 0.3 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.2
Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue 58.5 40.0 50.2 52.9 55.5 58.2 60.5 62.0
Nervous system and sense organs 5.3 7.8 6.7 6.3 5.5 5.2 5.1 4.9
Respiratory system 1.5 0.6 0.8 0.8 1.0 1.3 1.6 2.0
Skin and subcutaneous tissue 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Other 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Unknown 1.6 1.2 1.2 1.3 1.5 1.7 1.7 1.8
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Workers' Compensation and Public Disability Benefit file (100 percent data).
NOTES: Figures may not sum to totals because of rounding.
(L) = less than 0.05 percent.
Table 17. Number and percentage distribution of disabled workers in California who have filed for WC, by diagnostic group and age group, December 2008
Diagnostic group Total, all ages Under 35 35–39 40–44 45–49 50–54 55–59 60–64
  Number
Total 56,377 921 1,713 3,658 7,066 11,339 15,550 16,130
Congenital anomalies 27 3 4 (X) 5 7 5 (X)
Endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases 1,034 5 13 28 96 204 317 371
Infectious and parasitic diseases 591 4 33 71 129 151 120 83
Injuries 3,438 119 140 279 457 661 818 964
Mental disorders
Intellectual disability 312 12 29 53 70 66 51 31
Other 12,154 376 610 1,216 2,033 2,697 2,849 2,373
Neoplasms 348 6 8 20 33 77 94 110
Diseases of the—
Blood and blood-forming organs 36 7 (X) 3 3 6 13 (X)
Circulatory system 1,523 9 15 58 122 255 448 616
Digestive system 292 4 8 9 28 86 92 65
Genitourinary system 291 9 14 25 47 68 59 69
Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue 31,672 268 646 1,518 3,423 6,151 9,501 10,165
Nervous system and sense organs 3,777 88 158 328 494 746 961 1,002
Respiratory system 395 (X) (X) 15 44 72 106 144
Skin and subcutaneous tissue 60 (X) 4 (X) 11 12 11 18
Other 79 0 4 7 14 16 22 16
Unknown 348 8 13 25 57 64 83 98
  Percent
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Congenital anomalies (L) 0.3 0.2 (X) 0.1 0.1 (L) (X)
Endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases 1.8 0.5 0.8 0.8 1.4 1.8 2.0 2.3
Infectious and parasitic diseases 1.0 0.4 1.9 1.9 1.8 1.3 0.8 0.5
Injuries 6.1 12.9 8.2 7.6 6.5 5.8 5.3 6.0
Mental disorders
Intellectual disability 0.6 1.3 1.7 1.4 1.0 0.6 0.3 0.2
Other 21.6 40.8 35.6 33.2 28.8 23.8 18.3 14.7
Neoplasms 0.6 0.7 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.7 0.6 0.7
Diseases of the—
Blood and blood-forming organs 0.1 0.8 (X) 0.1 (L) 0.1 0.1 (X)
Circulatory system 2.7 1.0 0.9 1.6 1.7 2.2 2.9 3.8
Digestive system 0.5 0.4 0.5 0.2 0.4 0.8 0.6 0.4
Genitourinary system 0.5 1.0 0.8 0.7 0.7 0.6 0.4 0.4
Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue 56.2 29.1 37.7 41.5 48.4 54.2 61.1 63.0
Nervous system and sense organs 6.7 9.6 9.2 9.0 7.0 6.6 6.2 6.2
Respiratory system 0.7 (X) (X) 0.4 0.6 0.6 0.7 0.9
Skin and subcutaneous tissue 0.1 (X) 0.2 (X) 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1
Other 0.1 0 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1
Unknown 0.6 0.9 0.8 0.7 0.8 0.6 0.5 0.6
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Workers' Compensation and Public Disability Benefit file (100 percent data).
NOTES: Figures may not sum to totals because of rounding.
(X) = suppressed to avoid disclosing information about particular individuals; (L) = less than 0.05 percent.

More women than men with a connection to either WC or PDBs have a mental disorder other than intellectual disability—22.5 percent compared with 16.4 percent of men (Table 18). Both women and men in the general DI population have a high likelihood of having a mental disorder, and the difference between the sexes is narrower—30.6 percent of women and 26.8 percent of men (SSA 2009, Table 6, 25–26). The rate of mental disorder other than intellectual disability is significantly higher for both men (22.9 percent) and women (31.1 percent) with a connection to PDBs than to WC (see Table 18).

Table 18. Number and percentage distribution of disabled workers who have filed for WC and/or PDBs, by diagnostic group and sex, December 2008
Diagnostic group Total Men Women
Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
  Disabled workers with WC and/or PDBs
Total 583,923 100.0 356,004 100.0 227,919 100.0
Congenital anomalies 334 0.1 187 0.1 147 0.1
Endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases 13,142 2.3 6,363 1.8 6,779 3.0
Infectious and parasitic diseases 4,967 0.9 4,010 1.1 957 0.4
Injuries 39,812 6.8 29,972 8.4 9,840 4.3
Mental disorders
Intellectual disability 6,516 1.1 4,988 1.4 1,528 0.7
Other 109,549 18.8 58,211 16.4 51,338 22.5
Neoplasms 6,408 1.1 3,435 1.0 2,973 1.3
Diseases of the—
Blood and blood-forming organs 440 0.1 223 0.1 217 0.1
Circulatory system 22,529 3.9 16,652 4.7 5,877 2.6
Digestive system 3,789 0.6 2,444 0.7 1,345 0.6
Genitourinary system 3,289 0.6 2,206 0.6 1,083 0.5
Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue 318,928 54.6 199,169 55.9 119,759 52.5
Nervous system and sense organs 34,553 5.9 17,174 4.8 17,379 7.6
Respiratory system 9,117 1.6 5,320 1.5 3,797 1.7
Skin and subcutaneous tissue 756 0.1 394 0.1 362 0.2
Other 687 0.1 300 0.1 387 0.2
Unknown 9,107 1.6 4,956 1.4 4,151 1.8
  Disabled workers with WC
Total 510,836 100.0 315,339 100.0 195,497 100.0
Congenital anomalies 271 0.1 155 (L) 116 0.1
Endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases 11,044 2.2 5,303 1.7 5,741 2.9
Infectious and parasitic diseases 2,414 0.5 1,789 0.6 625 0.3
Injuries 36,102 7.1 27,326 8.7 8,776 4.5
Mental disorders
Intellectual disability 6,193 1.2 4,765 1.5 1,428 0.7
Other 89,759 17.6 48,699 15.4 41,060 21.0
Neoplasms 2,558 0.5 1,496 0.5 1,062 0.5
Diseases of the—
Blood and blood-forming organs 267 0.1 141 (L) 126 0.1
Circulatory system 15,520 3.0 11,756 3.7 3,764 1.9
Digestive system 2,377 0.5 1,585 0.5 792 0.4
Genitourinary system 1,298 0.3 906 0.3 392 0.2
Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue 299,061 58.5 188,541 59.8 110,520 56.5
Nervous system and sense organs 27,048 5.3 13,196 4.2 13,852 7.1
Respiratory system 7,508 1.5 4,511 1.4 2,997 1.5
Skin and subcutaneous tissue 596 0.1 325 0.1 271 0.1
Other 457 0.1 205 0.1 252 0.1
Unknown 8,363 1.6 4,640 1.5 3,723 1.9
  Disabled workers with PDBs
Total 80,778 100.0 45,247 100.0 35,531 100.0
Congenital anomalies 68 0.1 34 0.1 34 0.1
Endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases 2,346 2.9 1,167 2.6 1,179 3.3
Infectious and parasitic diseases 2,630 3.3 2,276 5.0 354 1.0
Injuries 4,131 5.1 2,947 6.5 1,184 3.3
Mental disorders
Intellectual disability 426 0.5 297 0.7 129 0.4
Other 21,411 26.5 10,369 22.9 11,042 31.1
Neoplasms 3,884 4.8 1,961 4.3 1,923 5.4
Diseases of the—
Blood and blood-forming organs 177 0.2 86 0.2 91 0.3
Circulatory system 7,330 9.1 5,135 11.3 2,195 6.2
Digestive system 1,476 1.8 898 2.0 578 1.6
Genitourinary system 2,037 2.5 1,326 2.9 711 2.0
Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue 23,843 29.5 13,094 28.9 10,749 30.3
Nervous system and sense organs 7,979 9.9 4,211 9.3 3,768 10.6
Respiratory system 1,707 2.1 872 1.9 835 2.4
Skin and subcutaneous tissue 171 0.2 73 0.2 98 0.3
Other 238 0.3 98 0.2 140 0.4
Unknown 924 1.1 403 0.9 521 1.5
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Workers' Compensation and Public Disability Benefit file (100 percent data).
NOTES: Figures may not sum to totals because of rounding.
(L) = less than 0.05 percent.

Days Between Disability Onset and Filing for DI

Although in some cases the WC/PDB payment may not begin until after DI entitlement, the number of days between the onset of disability and filing for Social Security disability benefits may indicate how effectively WC and PDBs work as intervention for people with disabilities.13 Disabled workers with a connection to either WC or PDBs tend to wait longer to apply for disability benefits after disability onset than disabled workers in general (Table 19 and Chart 5). About half of disabled workers with a WC/PDB connection file for DI in less than 8 months of disability onset, compared with 62.7 percent of all disabled workers. A substantial percentage of the disabled population with a connection wait 16 months or over to apply for DI (22.4 percent). In comparison, 17.7 percent of all disabled workers wait 16 months or over to file for benefits (Table 20). That might indicate that WC and/or PDBs allow workers to maintain their households longer without DI support. It may also indicate that those people are hoping to return to work and are engaging in rehabilitation programs. On the other end, a smaller but still sizable portion of the disabled population with a connection file in less than 2 months of disability onset (18.6 percent). They may be beneficiaries who are more seriously disabled from the start. In contrast, 29.6 percent of all disabled workers apply for benefits in under 60 days (Table 20).

Table 19. Number and percentage distribution of disabled workers who have filed for WC and/or PDBs, by diagnostic group and days between disability onset and filing for DI, December 2008
Diagnostic group Total Under 60 60–119 120–179 180–239 240–299 300–359 360–419 420–479 480 or over
  Number
Total 583,923 108,699 61,736 62,578 62,043 49,032 43,049 38,098 27,848 130,840
Congenital anomalies 334 72 38 41 37 35 25 20 9 57
Endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases 13,142 3,179 1,616 1,538 1,339 1,058 934 700 538 2,240
Infectious and parasitic diseases 4,953 1,381 926 699 499 386 272 225 121 444
Injuries 39,812 7,185 4,620 4,179 3,885 3,232 2,868 2,716 1,973 9,154
Mental disorders
Intellectual disability 6,516 1,309 764 683 601 485 410 348 309 1,607
Other 109,549 20,788 12,717 12,710 12,248 9,340 7,801 6,946 5,008 21,991
Neoplasms 6,422 1,589 1,162 1,086 850 520 362 250 142 461
Diseases of the—
Blood and blood-forming organs 440 125 64 53 48 38 22 22 19 49
Circulatory system 22,529 6,864 3,806 2,834 2,290 1,589 1,161 985 622 2,378
Digestive system 3,789 894 560 485 424 295 257 203 128 543
Genitourinary system 3,289 1,242 614 426 313 211 140 83 64 196
Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue 318,928 51,595 28,133 31,702 33,791 27,673 25,305 22,544 16,686 81,499
Nervous system and sense organs 34,553 7,881 4,325 3,953 3,697 2,664 2,181 1,939 1,400 6,513
Respiratory system 9,117 2,673 1,385 1,141 944 641 495 416 286 1,136
Skin and subcutaneous tissue 756 153 109 83 92 66 55 43 28 127
Other 687 143 75 77 94 52 47 39 30 130
Unknown 9,107 1,626 822 888 891 747 714 619 485 2,315
  Percent
Total 100.0 18.6 10.6 10.7 10.6 8.4 7.4 6.5 4.8 22.4
Congenital anomalies 100.0 21.6 11.4 12.3 11.1 10.5 7.5 6.0 2.7 17.1
Endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases 100.0 24.2 12.3 11.7 10.2 8.1 7.1 5.3 4.1 17.0
Infectious and parasitic diseases 100.0 27.9 18.7 14.1 10.1 7.8 5.5 4.5 2.4 9.0
Injuries 100.0 18.0 11.6 10.5 9.8 8.1 7.2 6.8 5.0 23.0
Mental disorders
Intellectual disability 100.0 20.1 11.7 10.5 9.2 7.4 6.3 5.3 4.7 24.7
Other 100.0 19.0 11.6 11.6 11.2 8.5 7.1 6.3 4.6 20.1
Neoplasms 100.0 24.7 18.1 16.9 13.2 8.1 5.6 3.9 2.2 7.2
Diseases of the—
Blood and blood-forming organs 100.0 28.4 14.5 12.0 10.9 8.6 5.0 5.0 4.3 11.1
Circulatory system 100.0 30.5 16.9 12.6 10.2 7.1 5.2 4.4 2.8 10.6
Digestive system 100.0 23.6 14.8 12.8 11.2 7.8 6.8 5.4 3.4 14.3
Genitourinary system 100.0 37.8 18.7 13.0 9.5 6.4 4.3 2.5 1.9 6.0
Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue 100.0 16.2 8.8 9.9 10.6 8.7 7.9 7.1 5.2 25.6
Nervous system and sense organs 100.0 22.8 12.5 11.4 10.7 7.7 6.3 5.6 4.1 18.8
Respiratory system 100.0 29.3 15.2 12.5 10.4 7.0 5.4 4.6 3.1 12.5
Skin and subcutaneous tissue 100.0 20.2 14.4 11.0 12.2 8.7 7.3 5.7 3.7 16.8
Other 100.0 20.8 10.9 11.2 13.7 7.6 6.8 5.7 4.4 18.9
Unknown 100.0 17.9 9.0 9.8 9.8 8.2 7.8 6.8 5.3 25.4
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Workers' Compensation and Public Disability Benefit file (100 percent data).
NOTES: Figures may not sum to totals because of rounding.
Chart 5.
Distribution of all disabled workers and those who have filed for WC and/or PDBs, by days between disability onset and filing for DI
Bar chart linked to data in table format, which is provided in the All areas - All disabled workers and All areas - Disabled workers with WC and/or PDBs rows of Table 20.
SOURCE: Table 20.
Table 20. Percentage distribution of all disabled workers and those who have filed for WC and/or PDBs, by state or other area of residence and days between disability onset and filing for DI, December 2008
State or area Total, all days Under 60 60– 119 120– 179 180– 239 240– 299 300– 359 360– 419 420– 479 480 or over
All areas
All disabled workers 100.0 29.6 13.5 10.7 8.9 6.5 5.2 4.6 3.4 17.7
Disabled workers with WC and/or PDBs 100.0 18.6 10.6 10.7 10.6 8.4 7.4 6.5 4.8 22.4
Alabama 100.0 22.1 12.2 12.0 10.3 7.9 6.7 6.0 4.5 18.4
Alaska 100.0 15.4 13.2 12.2 8.3 7.4 6.3 7.2 3.2 26.7
Arizona 100.0 17.7 10.7 10.9 10.3 8.7 8.1 6.6 4.9 22.1
Arkansas 100.0 22.1 13.7 11.4 10.3 8.2 7.1 6.0 4.0 17.2
California
All disabled workers 100.0 21.2 10.9 9.7 9.0 7.8 7.2 7.4 4.7 22.2
Disabled workers with WC and/or PDBs 100.0 17.3 10.6 10.1 9.9 8.5 7.6 7.2 5.1 23.7
Colorado 100.0 15.8 8.2 8.1 10.4 8.6 8.2 7.4 6.2 27.0
Connecticut 100.0 13.4 8.5 8.4 8.1 7.2 6.8 6.4 5.1 36.1
Delaware 100.0 13.3 8.2 10.2 10.2 8.0 8.1 7.4 5.2 29.3
District of Columbia 100.0 23.5 14.9 9.5 9.5 8.6 4.1 3.5 1.6 24.8
Florida 100.0 19.7 9.8 9.8 9.9 8.0 6.9 6.4 4.8 24.7
Georgia 100.0 19.4 10.2 10.0 9.6 8.2 7.8 6.8 5.2 22.9
Hawaii 100.0 20.1 15.0 12.2 7.8 7.0 5.6 5.8 4.1 22.5
Idaho 100.0 17.7 11.2 10.6 11.2 7.7 7.0 6.2 5.3 23.0
Illinois 100.0 19.1 10.2 10.0 9.8 8.4 7.8 7.1 5.1 22.6
Indiana 100.0 24.0 11.9 11.1 10.5 8.6 7.6 5.8 3.9 16.7
Iowa 100.0 23.9 11.4 10.4 9.6 7.7 6.6 6.1 5.2 19.1
Kansas 100.0 22.7 10.1 10.7 9.3 8.8 7.2 5.6 5.0 20.5
Kentucky 100.0 24.0 12.9 12.9 11.0 7.8 6.7 5.5 3.8 15.2
Louisiana 100.0 15.3 10.1 9.8 9.8 8.5 7.9 6.3 4.8 27.5
Maine 100.0 15.3 9.3 8.5 8.9 7.0 7.5 7.0 5.4 31.1
Maryland 100.0 19.1 10.2 7.9 8.8 7.7 6.3 5.9 4.8 29.5
Massachusetts 100.0 11.7 7.5 9.0 9.9 8.7 9.1 8.0 6.2 30.0
Michigan 100.0 20.4 9.4 12.0 12.8 9.0 7.3 6.1 4.3 18.6
Minnesota 100.0 25.0 10.3 9.3 8.5 7.4 6.0 5.6 4.6 23.3
Mississippi 100.0 22.1 12.2 10.7 9.9 7.5 7.0 5.8 4.2 20.6
Missouri 100.0 23.2 12.6 11.5 10.7 9.0 6.7 5.7 4.3 16.4
Montana 100.0 16.9 9.4 9.2 10.3 7.2 7.2 6.7 5.1 28.0
Nebraska 100.0 21.7 10.6 10.6 8.9 7.8 7.4 6.1 4.6 22.2
Nevada 100.0 16.5 9.5 10.0 9.8 9.0 8.0 7.2 5.3 24.6
New Hampshire 100.0 13.2 8.1 9.2 9.5 7.2 7.9 7.6 7.1 30.1
New Jersey 100.0 18.7 13.7 13.4 12.3 7.9 6.8 5.3 4.2 17.7
New Mexico 100.0 19.2 10.0 10.1 8.9 8.4 6.9 5.9 5.0 25.5
New York 100.0 14.0 9.7 11.5 12.7 9.8 8.6 7.2 5.0 21.5
North Carolina 100.0 20.3 10.3 10.2 9.8 7.8 7.4 6.7 5.0 22.5
North Dakota 100.0 23.2 10.2 8.6 10.5 6.8 7.9 6.0 3.6 23.2
Ohio 100.0 24.4 10.5 9.6 8.9 7.4 6.5 5.8 4.3 22.4
Oklahoma 100.0 18.7 10.7 9.5 9.2 8.0 6.8 6.4 4.5 26.2
Oregon 100.0 20.6 11.6 9.6 9.4 7.6 7.4 6.5 4.5 22.8
Pennsylvania 100.0 15.4 8.1 8.7 9.0 7.8 7.0 6.8 5.3 31.8
Rhode Island 100.0 18.1 9.7 10.5 10.5 8.2 6.5 6.7 4.6 25.3
South Carolina 100.0 20.2 10.7 10.4 10.0 8.2 7.0 6.3 4.7 22.5
South Dakota 100.0 19.6 13.7 9.5 8.5 7.9 6.8 6.4 4.6 23.1
Tennessee 100.0 21.3 11.6 11.5 10.1 8.3 7.1 6.1 4.9 19.1
Texas 100.0 16.7 10.0 9.7 9.0 8.1 7.3 6.8 5.3 27.3
Utah 100.0 20.9 12.7 10.1 10.5 7.7 5.4 6.2 4.1 22.4
Vermont 100.0 14.2 8.9 10.1 9.0 7.4 7.4 6.9 4.3 31.8
Virginia 100.0 22.1 11.9 11.3 11.0 7.6 7.0 5.9 4.4 18.6
Washington 100.0 16.8 8.8 7.9 8.7 7.3 8.2 7.2 5.0 30.0
West Virginia 100.0 23.6 12.9 11.1 10.0 7.9 6.7 5.6 3.7 18.4
Wisconsin 100.0 21.4 10.5 10.5 10.4 8.2 7.8 7.2 5.0 19.1
Wyoming 100.0 19.1 14.6 7.4 10.0 10.2 6.8 4.7 4.5 22.7
Outlying areas
Puerto Rico 100.0 22.1 13.9 15.7 15.8 9.1 6.1 4.4 3.0 9.9
Other a 100.0 16.0 12.0 10.9 9.7 11.4 5.7 7.4 5.1 21.7
Foreign countries 100.0 18.0 10.8 10.6 10.3 9.2 6.7 6.9 4.5 23.1
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Workers' Compensation and Public Disability Benefit file (100 percent data).
NOTES: Distribution is by state or other area of residence, not by the state paying benefits. Figures may not sum to totals because of rounding.
a. Includes American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Disabled workers in California (with and without a WC/PDB connection) fall somewhere in between all disabled workers and disabled workers with a connection: 21.2 percent file in under 60 days, 22.2 percent file in 480 days or over, and 50.8 percent file in less than 8 months (Table 20). Disabled workers in California who have a connection to either program have the lowest rate of applying for DI benefits in under 60 days among all disabled workers and disabled workers with a connection (17.3 percent) and the highest rate of waiting 480 days or over to apply for those benefits at 23.7 percent (see Table 20).

Workers with a WC/PDB connection who have diseases of the genitourinary system, which include renal failure, have the highest rate of quick filing (37.8 percent file in less than 2 months, while only 6 percent wait 16 months or over). Interestingly, persons in the most common diagnostic group—musculoskeletal system and connective tissue—are the least likely to apply for DI benefits soon after onset: 16.2 percent apply in less than 2 months, while 25.6 percent wait 16 months or over. That group may have the most to gain from rehabilitation and early intervention programs (Table 19).

Workers with lower PIAs tend to wait longer to apply for disability. For instance, 24.2 percent of beneficiaries with benefits below $500 wait 480 days or over to apply, while only 11.1 percent of beneficiaries in the $2,200 and above category wait this long (Chart 6 and Table 21).

Chart 6.
Distribution of disabled workers who have filed for WC and/or PDBs who wait 480 days or over to file for DI benefits, by PIA, December 2008
Histogram with six categories. PIA range $0.00 to $499.90 is 24.25%. PIA range $500.00 to $999.90 is 24.64%. PIA range $1,000.00 to $1,499.90 is 23.53%. PIA range $1,500.00 to $1,999.90 is 19.78%. PIA range $2,000.00 to $2,199.90 is 14.13%. And PIA range $2,200.00 or more is 11.05%.
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Workers' Compensation and Public Disability Benefit file (100 percent data).
Table 21. Number and percentage distribution of disabled workers who have filed for WC and/or PDBs, by PIA and days between disability onset and filing for DI, December 2008
PIA (dollars) Total, all days Under 60 60–119 120–179 180–239 240–299 300–359 360–419 420–479 480 or over
  Number
Total 583,923 108,699 61,736 62,578 62,043 49,032 43,049 38,098 27,848 130,840
Less than 500.00 19,990 4,317 2,131 1,889 1,863 1,548 1,266 1,165 964 4,847
500.00–599.90 15,005 3,035 1,626 1,504 1,306 1,062 969 895 674 3,934
600.00–699.90 32,109 6,348 3,432 3,154 2,906 2,443 2,172 1,997 1,488 8,169
700.00–799.90 45,521 9,183 4,797 4,555 4,341 3,403 3,061 2,744 2,172 11,265
800.00–899.90 48,057 9,611 5,160 4,917 4,639 3,683 3,236 2,897 2,293 11,621
900.00–999.90 47,619 9,329 5,040 4,773 4,779 3,728 3,326 2,962 2,278 11,404
1,000.00–1,099.90 45,924 8,873 4,777 4,543 4,712 3,717 3,213 3,063 2,144 10,882
1,100.00–1,199.90 42,958 7,985 4,522 4,326 4,428 3,413 3,146 2,778 2,091 10,269
1,200.00–1,299.90 39,341 7,187 4,130 4,035 3,950 3,199 2,810 2,745 1,990 9,295
1,300.00–1,399.90 36,123 6,426 3,694 3,720 3,837 3,138 2,782 2,347 1,797 8,382
1,400.00–1,499.90 33,083 5,761 3,391 3,424 3,574 2,747 2,572 2,307 1,684 7,623
1,500.00–1,599.90 32,428 5,471 3,243 3,569 3,557 2,877 2,618 2,310 1,528 7,255
1,600.00–1,699.90 32,650 5,479 3,347 3,729 3,773 3,016 2,658 2,246 1,596 6,806
1,700.00–1,799.90 28,562 4,801 2,914 3,348 3,292 2,717 2,427 2,058 1,415 5,590
1,800.00–1,899.90 28,480 4,822 2,979 3,389 3,455 2,810 2,340 2,072 1,348 5,265
1,900.00–1,999.90 23,200 4,093 2,654 2,935 2,939 2,201 1,907 1,575 1,070 3,826
2,000.00–2,099.90 15,201 2,846 1,731 1,975 2,060 1,577 1,172 929 633 2,278
2,100.00–2,199.90 9,936 1,795 1,171 1,515 1,469 944 772 598 398 1,274
2,200.00 or more 7,736 1,337 997 1,278 1,163 809 602 410 285 855
  Percent
Total 100.0 18.6 10.6 10.7 10.6 8.4 7.4 6.5 4.8 22.4
Less than 500.00 100.0 21.6 10.7 9.4 9.3 7.7 6.3 5.8 4.8 24.2
500.00–599.90 100.0 20.2 10.8 10.0 8.7 7.1 6.5 6.0 4.5 26.2
600.00–699.90 100.0 19.8 10.7 9.8 9.1 7.6 6.8 6.2 4.6 25.4
700.00–799.90 100.0 20.2 10.5 10.0 9.5 7.5 6.7 6.0 4.8 24.7
800.00–899.90 100.0 20.0 10.7 10.2 9.7 7.7 6.7 6.0 4.8 24.2
900.00–999.90 100.0 19.6 10.6 10.0 10.0 7.8 7.0 6.2 4.8 23.9
1,000.00–1,099.90 100.0 19.3 10.4 9.9 10.3 8.1 7.0 6.7 4.7 23.7
1,100.00–1,199.90 100.0 18.6 10.5 10.1 10.3 7.9 7.3 6.5 4.9 23.9
1,200.00–1,299.90 100.0 18.3 10.5 10.3 10.0 8.1 7.1 7.0 5.1 23.6
1,300.00–1,399.90 100.0 17.8 10.2 10.3 10.6 8.7 7.7 6.5 5.0 23.2
1,400.00–1,499.90 100.0 17.4 10.2 10.3 10.8 8.3 7.8 7.0 5.1 23.0
1,500.00–1,599.90 100.0 16.9 10.0 11.0 11.0 8.9 8.1 7.1 4.7 22.4
1,600.00–1,699.90 100.0 16.8 10.3 11.4 11.6 9.2 8.1 6.9 4.9 20.8
1,700.00–1,799.90 100.0 16.8 10.2 11.7 11.5 9.5 8.5 7.2 5.0 19.6
1,800.00–1,899.90 100.0 16.9 10.5 11.9 12.1 9.9 8.2 7.3 4.7 18.5
1,900.00–1,999.90 100.0 17.6 11.4 12.7 12.7 9.5 8.2 6.8 4.6 16.5
2,000.00–2,099.90 100.0 18.7 11.4 13.0 13.6 10.4 7.7 6.1 4.2 15.0
2,100.00–2,199.90 100.0 18.1 11.8 15.2 14.8 9.5 7.8 6.0 4.0 12.8
2,200.00 or more 100.0 17.3 12.9 16.5 15.0 10.5 7.8 5.3 3.7 11.1
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Workers' Compensation and Public Disability Benefit file (100 percent data).
NOTE: Figures may not sum to totals because of rounding.

The youngest age group (under age 35) with a WC/PDB connection is also the group that applies for DI in the shortest time after disability onset: 33.5 percent apply in less than 4 months. The 45–49 age group is the least likely to apply in less than 4 months—only 27.3 percent do so. Although the differences are small, the group that waits the longest, on average, to apply is aged 40–44: 25.3 percent wait 480 days or over to apply (see Table 22).

Table 22. Number and percentage distribution of disabled workers who have filed for WC and/or PDBs, by age group and days between disability onset and filing for DI, December 2008
Age group Total, all days Under 60 60–119 120–179 180–239 240–299 300–359 360–419 420–479 480 or over
  Number
Total 583,923 108,699 61,736 62,578 62,043 49,032 43,049 38,098 27,848 130,840
Under 35 10,005 2,108 1,241 1,007 898 722 693 693 468 2,175
35–39 18,684 3,310 2,004 1,795 1,829 1,504 1,414 1,278 951 4,599
40–44 41,245 7,186 4,178 4,029 4,015 3,343 3,135 2,817 2,112 10,430
45–49 78,932 13,657 7,856 7,873 7,997 6,371 5,880 5,414 4,047 19,837
50–54 121,451 23,294 12,197 12,370 12,327 9,998 8,836 7,958 5,903 28,568
55–59 154,621 30,031 16,420 16,839 16,731 13,106 11,319 9,852 7,145 33,178
60–64 158,985 29,113 17,840 18,665 18,246 13,988 11,772 10,086 7,222 32,053
  Percent
Total 100.0 18.6 10.6 10.7 10.6 8.4 7.4 6.5 4.8 22.4
Under 35 100.0 21.1 12.4 10.1 9.0 7.2 6.9 6.9 4.7 21.7
35–39 100.0 17.7 10.7 9.6 9.8 8.0 7.6 6.8 5.1 24.6
40–44 100.0 17.4 10.1 9.8 9.7 8.1 7.6 6.8 5.1 25.3
45–49 100.0 17.3 10.0 10.0 10.1 8.1 7.4 6.9 5.1 25.1
50–54 100.0 19.2 10.0 10.2 10.1 8.2 7.3 6.6 4.9 23.5
55–59 100.0 19.4 10.6 10.9 10.8 8.5 7.3 6.4 4.6 21.5
60–64 100.0 18.3 11.2 11.7 11.5 8.8 7.4 6.3 4.5 20.2
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Workers' Compensation and Public Disability Benefit file (100 percent data).
NOTE: Figures may not sum to totals because of rounding.

Compared with the national average of 18.6 percent, workers with a WC/PDB connection in the Northeastern states have the lowest rates of applying for DI in less than 2 months after disability onset: 11.7 percent in Massachusetts, 13.4 percent in Connecticut,13.2 percent in New Hampshire, 14.0 percent in New York, 14.2 percent in Vermont, 15.3 percent in Maine, and 18.1 percent in Rhode Island (see Table 20). All of those states, except for New York and New Jersey, also have the highest rates of waiting 16 months or over, ranging from 25.3 percent in Rhode Island to 36.1 percent in Connecticut, compared with the national average of 22.4 percent. In contrast, many of the Midwestern states have a higher than average rate of applying for DI in under 60 days after disability onset; Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, and Ohio all have high rates of quick application, from 23.2 percent in North Dakota to 25.0 percent in Minnesota.

Conclusion

This note provides tabulations of the characteristics of disability beneficiaries with a connection to WC or PDBs. The 8.3 percent of disabled workers who have this connection tend to be economically better off, more frequently middle aged, male, afflicted with a musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorder, and tend to wait longer to apply for Social Security DI benefits after disability onset than the general disabled-worker population. Because California represents a large portion of this workload, its experience has a substantial effect on the national picture. This profile will be useful for those with an interest in the intersection of DI and WC/PDBs.

Notes

1 In some cases, WC may be paid as a lump sum in lieu of periodic payments. For purposes of the offset, this payment is treated as if it were a series of periodic payments.

2 Authors' calculations based on Table 5.

3 Dependents may receive benefits on the worker's record. For SSA purposes, dependents may include a spouse if he or she is at least age 62 (or any age if caring for an entitled child younger than age 16); children if they are unmarried and younger than age 18, or younger than age 19 and a full-time elementary or secondary student; disabled adult children; or ex-spouses aged 62 or older if married 10 years or more.

4 Authors' calculations based on Tables 3 and 5.

5 The primary focus of this note is on disabled workers. For information about other disabled beneficiaries, such as disabled adult children and disabled widow(er)s, see SSA (2011, Tables 5F4 and 5F8).

6 Fifteen states have reverse offset provisions for WC benefits: Alaska, California, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New York, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin. Four states (Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York) and Puerto Rico have reverse offset provisions for PDBs. Note that New Jersey and New York are the only two states that apply a reverse offset when a worker has WC and/or PDBs. Although Illinois applies the reverse offset for PDBs, it is not one of the five states with a general nonoccupational public disability program; however, all states have various public disability programs that cover special sectors, such as state or local government workers. Federal workers are also covered by certain public disability programs administered by the federal government.

7 California is one of the states where large numbers of state and local government workers are not in Social Security–covered employment.

8 In these cases, the beneficiary's record states that he or she has filed for WC or PDBs and is awaiting a final decision, or a denied claim is still under appeal. In cases where the WC benefit is a lump sum, "pending" can mean that the offset is pending while legal/medical expenses are deducted.

9 Because the percentages in this paragraph are not actually shown in Table 5, we have provided the following calculations: 23.8 percent was obtained by dividing the total number of spouses and children with a WC/PDB connection (182,516) by the total number of all disability beneficiaries with a connection (766,439); 88.4 percent was obtained by dividing the total number of children with a WC/PDB connection (161,337) by the total number of spouses and children with a connection (182,516); 19.9 percent was obtained by dividing the total number of spouses and children (1,846,095) by the total number of all disability beneficiaries (9,272,786); we arrived at 91.6 percent by dividing the total number of children (1,691,870) by the total number of spouses and children (1,846,095).

10 Because the percentages in this sentence are not actually shown in Table 12, we have provided the following calculations: 4.1 percent was obtained by dividing the sum of the two age groups "Under 25" and "25–29" with musculoskeletal disorders (8,783) by the total number of persons in those age groups (212,094); we arrived at 34.7 percent by dividing the sum of the two age groups "60–64" and "65–FRA" with musculoskeletal disorders (747,782) by the total number of persons in those age groups (2,157,666).

11 Because the percentages in this sentence are not actually shown in Table 12, we have provided the following calculations: 47.5 percent was obtained by dividing the sum of the two age groups "Under 25" and "25–29" with mental disorders other than intellectual disability (100,727) by the total number of persons in those age groups (212,094); we arrived at 18.6 percent by dividing the sum of the two age groups "60–64" and "65–FRA" with mental disorders other than intellectual disability (400,531) by the total number of persons in those age groups (2,157,666).

12 According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2011), musculoskeletal disorders accounted for 29 percent of all workplace injuries and illnesses requiring time away from work in 2010, second only to sprains, strains, and tears.

13 Another explanation may be that some disabled workers apply for both DI and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) at the same time. Because SSI does not having a waiting period, those individuals may apply sooner for both programs. However, because disabled workers with a WC and/or PDB connection have higher-than-average PIAs, they would be less likely to apply for SSI.

References

Advisory Council on Social Security (1963–1964). 1965. The Status of the Social Security Program and Recommendations for Its Improvement: Report of the Advisory Council on Social Security. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.

Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2011. "Nonfatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Requiring Days Away From Work, 2010." Economic News Release USDL-11-1612. Washington, DC: Department of Labor (November 9).

[SSA] Social Security Administration. 2009. Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, 2008. Washington, DC: Office of Retirement and Disability Policy, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics.

——— . 2011. Annual Statistical Supplement to the Social Security Bulletin, 2010. Washington, DC: Office of Retirement and Disability Policy, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics.

US Congress. House Committee on Ways and Means. 1955. Social Security Act Amendments of 1955. H. Rept. 1189 on H.R. 7225, 84th Cong., 1st sess. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office (July 14).

———. 1958. Social Security Act Amendments of 1958. H. Rept. 2288 on H.R. 13549, 85th Cong., 2d sess., Washington, DC: Government Printing Office (July).

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———. 1981. Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, H.R. 3982, Public Law 97-35, 97th Cong. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office (August 13).