In this paper we provide a context for evaluating the goals and effectiveness of current disability policy. We review the Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income programs and examine trends in disability benefit receipt and employment among working-age people with disabilities. We discuss the difficulties in crafting efficient and equitable programs for this difficult to target, heterogeneous population. We conclude that changes in policy rather than in underlying health are most likely behind the increases in disability benefit receipt and the declines in employment of working-age people with disabilities over the 1990s business cycle.
"Policy Watch: U.S. Disability Policy in a Changing Environment." Journal of Economic Perspectives,