Why Do State Disability Application Rates Vary Over Time?

Norma B. CoeKelly HaverstickAlicia H. Munnell Anthony Webb

IB#12-2

The brief’s key findings are:

  • Application rates for federal Disability Insurance (DI) have risen since the late-1990s.
  • The economy is a key driver; rising unemployment and declining labor force participation lead to higher DI application rates.
  • Interestingly, states with strict health insurance regulations have lower application rates, a finding that merits further exploration.