Disability Insurance: Does Extending Unemployment Benefits Help?


The brief’s key findings are:

  • Jobless individuals tend to delay applying for disability insurance (SSDI) until their extended unemployment insurance (UI) runs out.
  • Those who do apply for SSDI while still on unemployment are more likely to be approved, suggesting they are less healthy than those who delay.
  • UI extensions do not appear to reduce SSDI costs, because any given application is more likely to be approved due to worsening health or poor job prospects.