ERIC Number: ED445424
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Jul-13
Reference Count: N/A
SSA Disability: Other Programs May Provide Lessons for Improving Return-to-Work Efforts. Testimony before the Subcommittee on Social Security, Committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives.
Bovbjerg, Barbara D.
This report compares the Social Security Administration's Disability Insurance (DI) program and the practices of the private sector and other countries in helping people with severe disabilities return to work. Information was gathered in in-depth interviews and a review of policy documents and program data at three private sector disability insurers: UNUMProvident, Hartford Life, and CIGNA. Program officials and other experts on the disability systems of Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands were interviewed. Disability systems of the private insurers and the countries reviewed integrate return-to-work considerations early after disability onset and throughout the eligibility assessment process. This involves determining, as well as enhancing, the ability of each claimant to return to work. In addition, these systems provide incentives for claimants to take part in vocational rehabilitation programs and to obtain appropriate medical treatment and for employers to provide work opportunities for claimants. Managers of these systems have developed techniques to use staff with the appropriate expertise to provide return-to-work assistance to claimants in a cost-effective manner. In comparison, the Social Security Administration was found to have an eligibility determination process that concentrates on applicant's incapacities, an "all-or-nothing" benefits structure, and return-to-work services offered only after a lengthy determination process. (CR)
Descriptors: Adults, Delivery Systems, Disabilities, Employment, Federal Programs, Financial Support, Foreign Countries, Health Insurance, Incentives, Interviews, Private Sector, Rehabilitation Programs, Social Services, Vocational Rehabilitation
GAO reports on the Internet: e-mail: Info@www.gao.gov; Web site: http://www.gao.gov
Publication Type: Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials; Opinion Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Location: Germany; Netherlands; Sweden
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Social Security Disability Insurance