Pathways onto (and off) Disability Benefits: Assessing the Role of Policy and Individual Circumstances

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Abstract:

This chapter presents new evidence on the role of personal and work‐related factors for the entry to disability benefits and on policy developments in the area of sickness and disability across OECD countries. Disability benefit recipiency rates have increased most rapidly for women, young adults and individuals with mental health problems. However, the longitudinal analysis for individuals in four countries suggests that the probability to enter a disability benefit following an adverse health shock is only marginally higher for women and young adults than for other groups. Marked cross‐country differences in the estimated results underlie to the importance of taking a closer look at how national disability policies differ. Indeed, new OECD indicators of disability policy reveal a wide diversity in both the generosity aspect and the employment integration component of disability policy. At the same time, most countries have tightened access to benefits in the last decade while improving employment integration. This is a promising development because the chapter's analysis reveals that a more generous disability policy is associated with higher numbers of beneficiaries while more comprehensive employment and rehabilitation programmes are associated with lower recipiency rates.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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