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Social Security Disability Insurance Enrollment and Health Care Employment


Health Services Research

Published online on


Objective To examine the relationship between Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) enrollment and health care employment. Data Sources State‐year level data from government and other publicly available sources for all states (2000–2014). Study Design Population‐weighted linear regression analyses model associations between each health care employment measure and each SSDI enrollment measure (i.e., SSDI overall, physical, or mental health enrollment rates), controlling for factors associated with health care employment, state fixed effects, and secular time trends. Data Collection Data are gathered from publicly available sources. Principal Findings A one standard deviation increase in SSDI enrollment per 100,000 population is associated with a statistically significant 2.6 and 4.5 percent increase in the mean employment rate per 100,000 population for health care practitioner and technical occupations and health care support occupations, respectively. The size of this relationship varies by the type of disabling condition for SSDI enrollment (physical versus mental health). Conclusions Social Security Disability Insurance enrollment is significantly associated with health care employment at the state level. Quantifying the magnitude of this relationship is important given high SSDI enrollment rates as well as evolving policy and demographic shifts related to the SSDI program.