Research on Disability

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StatsRRTC releases new publication: National and State Program Participation Ratios for Working-Age People with Disabilities

by User Not Found | Jul 31, 2014

National and State Program Participation Ratios for 

Working-Age People with Disabilities

Authors: Yonatan Ben-Shalom and David Stapleton

ABSTRACT
We produce national and state-level statistics on the number of participants in federal 
disability programs, drawn from administrative data, relative to the estimated size of the 
working-age population with any self-reported disability based on the American Community 
Survey (ACS). For Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security 
Income (SSI) combined, cross-state variation in the participation ratio is remarkably wide, with 
the two highest estimates (Massachusetts and New York) being more than twice as large as the 
lowest estimate (Alaska). There is also considerable variation across states in the distribution of 
participants across the three program categories (SSDI-only, SSI-only, and concurrent SSDI and 
SSI). The variation in combined Medicare and Medicaid participation across states follows a 
similar pattern as for SSDI and SSI, but is somewhat greater, mostly reflecting the extent to 
which each state’s Medicaid program covers individuals with disabilities who are neither SSDI 
nor SSI participants. The state-level statistics are important because they support assessments of 
how well each state is meeting the needs of its working-age disability population and how 
changes in states’ policies and economic conditions affect participants and expenditures. The 
participation ratios may have biases that go in opposite directions; in combination, we are not 
able to determine whether they are biased upwards or downwards.

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