Do Stronger Disability Discrimination Laws Decrease the Spillover Effects of Social Security Reforms on SSDI Application and Enrollment?

Publication Date


Grant Type

Early Career Research Award


The Social Security Amendments of 1983, which increased the full retirement age, have created considerable spillover effects on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) applications and enrollment by making SSDI more generous at a given age for certain birth-cohorts. We explore if stronger disability discrimination laws moderate the spillover effects of these amendments on SSDI. Exploiting the state level variations in degree of protection for disabled workers, we estimate the effects of stronger disability discrimination laws on SSDI applications and enrollment using a difference-in-difference framework. The findings of this paper provide evidence of the effectiveness of to what extent disability discrimination protections reduce employment barriers and thus reduce reliance on SSDI.