PERSPECTIVES: The Growth in Applications for Social Security Disability Insurance: A Spillover Effect from Workers' Compensation

by Xuguang (Steve) Guo and John F. Burton, Jr.
Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 3, 2012
Table equivalent for Chart 1. DI beneficiaries as a percentage of adults aged 25–64, 1981–1999
Year Beneficiaries
1981 2.5
1982 2.4
1983 2.3
1984 2.3
1985 2.3
1986 2.3
1987 2.4
1988 2.4
1989 2.4
1990 2.4
1991 2.6
1992 2.7
1993 2.9
1994 3.0
1995 3.2
1996 3.3
1997 3.3
1998 3.4
1999 3.5
SOURCE: Authors' calculations based on Annual Statistical Supplement to the Social Security Bulletin (various editions).
Table equivalent for Chart 2. DI application rates and acceptance ratios, 1981–1999
Year DI application rate DI acceptance ratio
1981 881 0.4
1982 776 0.4
1983 762 0.5
1984 776 0.6
1985 744 0.6
1986 812 0.7
1987 799 0.6
1988 745 0.6
1989 708 0.6
1990 741 0.7
1991 801 0.7
1992 919 0.8
1993 963 0.6
1994 978 0.5
1995 958 0.5
1996 860 0.5
1997 808 0.5
1998 748 0.6
1999 752 0.7
SOURCE: Burkhauser and Houtenville (2006).
NOTE: Application rate reflects applicants per 100,000 adults aged 25–64; acceptance ratio equals the number of allowances divided by the number of denials.
Table equivalent for Chart 3. Estimated effects of workers' compensation program changes, 1981–1999
Year Expected WCPD benefits WCPD compensability rules
1981 46 -0.07
1982 47 -0.09
1983 48 -0.08
1984 48 -0.08
1985 48 -0.08
1986 47 -0.07
1987 48 -0.07
1988 47 -0.08
1989 48 -0.08
1990 47 -0.05
1991 46 -0.06
1992 45 -0.07
1993 45 -0.14
1994 46 -0.14
1995 46 -0.14
1996 45 -0.16
1997 46 -0.15
1998 45 -0.15
1999 45 -0.15
SOURCE: Authors' calculations.
NOTE: "Expected WCPD benefits" reflects the number of weeks that benefits would replace the average weekly wage in the beneficiary's state. "WCPD compensability rules" represents changes in eligibility rules resulting from legislation or court decisions, expressed as a cumulative index relative to rules in place in 1975; declining values indicate greater stringency.