Survey of Disability Determinations Around the World

Published: 2021
Project ID: UM21-03


Public disability insurance systems vary considerably across countries. There is variation in the benefit amounts, program administrative costs, eligibility criteria, coverage scope, accommodations such as fast-tracking of applications, and the disability determination process. The latter is of particular interest to the Social Security Administration as it considers adjustments in response to changes in the U.S. workforce, technology, healthcare, and medicine. This study proposes to examine how disability determinations are made in foreign disability programs. It will select eight to 10 OECD countries for comparison. The analysis will be based primarily on an extensive desk-review of available sources. We will begin by conducting computer-based searches and manual bibliographical searches of relevant publications to retrieve available information about international disability benefit systems and determination processes. Once details have been gathered about our countries of interest, we will reach out to subject experts in the study countries. Ultimately, this survey may provide useful lessons to SSA about good international practice.


Lila Rabinovich