A Long-Term View of Health Status, Disabilities, Mortality, and Participation in the Social Security Administration's Disability Programs

Kalman Rupp, U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA)
Paul Davies, U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA)

Past research on the effect of health and disabilities on disability program participation is predominantly cross-sectional and ignores mortality risk. We track Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) participation over a 16 year period using the 1984 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) matched to Social Security records. The Social Security records include death information, monthly receipt of DI and SSI, and disability diagnosis. We follow individuals that did not receive disability benefits during or before 1984, and observe disability program entry/exit and death events for 16 years. We observe how long current (1984) participants stay on the disability rolls, exit and reentry events, and reasons for leaving the rolls, including death. We develop probit models predicting disability entry and exit over various time-horizons that allow us to assess the predictive power of health and other variables in the longer term versus the short term.

Presented in Session 22: Economic Demography Issues of Disability and Disability Policy