Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/228427
Authors: 
Button, Patrick
Khan, Mashfiqur R.
Year of Publication: 
2020
Series/Report no.: 
Upjohn Institute Working Paper No. 20-326
Abstract: 
The United States Social Security Amendments of 1983 (SSA1983) increased the full retirement age (FRA) and increased penalties for retiring before the FRA. This cut to retirement benefits caused spillover effects on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) applications and receipt by making SSDI relatively more generous. We explore if stronger disability and age discrimination laws moderated these spillovers, using variation whereby many state laws are broader or stronger than federal law. We estimate the effects of these laws on SSDI applications and receipt using a difference-in-differences approach, comparing cohorts affected by SSA1983 to similarly aged unaffected cohorts, across states. We find that a broader definition of disability, where only a medically diagnosed condition is required to be covered under state law, significantly reduces SSDI applications induced by SSA1983, but has no effect on SSDI receipt, likely because the foregone applications were for those with less severe conditions that were unlikely to have been approved for SSDI. We find some evidence that other broader or stronger features of state disability discrimination laws reduce both SSDI applications and receipt. We do not find much evidence that age discrimination laws reduce spillovers to SSDI. These results suggest that broader and stronger disability discrimination laws reduce employment barriers, allowing older individuals to work longer, possibly reducing reliance on SSDI and costly applications to SSDI.
Subjects: 
Disability
aging
discrimination
employment law
disability insurance
Social Security
Americans with Disability Act
Age Discrimination in Employment Act
Social Security Amendments of 1983
JEL: 
H55
J71
J78
K31
J14
J26
Persistent Identifier of the first edition: 
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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