Progression of Disability Benefits: A Perspective on Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
|Title||Progression of Disability Benefits: A Perspective on Multiple Sclerosis (MS).|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Authors||Fraser RT, Danczyk-Hawley CE, McMahon B|
|Journal||International Journal of MS Care|
Progression of Disability Benefits (PODB) refers to the migration of workers with work limiting disabilities as they move through a system of economic disability benefits (eg, short- and long-term disability) resulting in their ultimate placement into the Social Security disability system (McMahon et al, 2000). The present study examined the PODB for an available sample of employees with MS (n=201) with a larger, general disability sample (n=77,096). Other objectives of the study examined whether movement to Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) was influenced by age, gender, and type of employers. Comparisons were also made to an “epilepsy only” sub-sample. All data were provided by the UNUM/Provident Life Insurance Company of America with support from the Washington Business Group on Health and Virginia Commonwealth University. Findings suggest approximately 11% of the general disability population progresses to Long-Term Disability (LTD) versus 25% of those with epilepsy and almost half of the MS sample. Only about a third of the general population or those with epilepsy progressed from LTD status to SSDI, while this was true for 71% of the MS LTD recipients. The MS employees also spent considerably less time in LTD status (x=197 days) than the general population (x=281 days) or the epilepsy sample (x=480 days). Employees with MS not only move in a salient greater percentage to long-term federal subsidy, they get there appreciably faster. Comparisons with the epilepsy and general population are further evaluated and discussed. Implications of these findings relative to disability benefits policy and management are also reviewed.