Does Disability Insurance Save Lives?

Published: 2012
Project ID: UM12-18


Previous research has shown that changes in income and health insurance are associated with changes in health and/or mortality. This study examines whether participation in the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs causally affects survival rates among applicants. We exploit administrative data to match applications to disability examiners, and use natural variation in examiners’ allowance rates as an instrument in a regression equation contrasting denied and allowed applicants.