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Workforce Issues & Employee Benefits

Friday, March 27, 2015

Workers’ Compensation in the Spotlight

As part of a larger series titled ‘Insult to Injury: America’s Vanishing Worker Protections,’ ProPublica and NPR recently published three investigative reports:

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Posted on March 27, 2015  |  6 comments  |  Add your comment
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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Disability Insurance: Clarifying the Choices

William J. Arnone, Board Chair, National Academy of Social Insurance

G. Lawrence Atkins, President, National Academy of Social Insurance

Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) is much in the news these days. It can be hard to separate fact from fiction. Here are some key points to keep in mind.

DI Basics
DI provides essential wage-replacement income to workers who have lost their capacity to earn a living due to the onset of a severe, long-term disability. The DI definition of disability is very strict: a medical condition that prevents an individual from performing basic work activities for at least 12 months or that ends in death.

Although benefits are modest ($1,145 a month on average), more than half of disabled worker beneficiaries rely on these benefits for 75% or more of their total income.

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Call for Proposals to Improve the Social Security Disability Insurance Program

Marc Goldwein, Committee for a Responsible Budget

My colleagues and I at the CRFB have been working on an initiative, led by former Congressmen Earl Pomeroy and Jim McCrery, to identify and put forward meaningful improvements that could be made to the SSDI program. The McCrery-Pomeroy SSDI Solutions Initiative hopes to generate the types of reforms that could accompany reallocation, interfund borrowing, or (preferably) a comprehensive Social Security reform package.

As part of the initiative, we have spoken with program experts, advocates, and practitioners of all different perspectives and ideologies. These discussions confirmed what we already knew to be the case: the SSDI program provides a vital support structure for many workers with disabilities and their families. But they also identified several areas where the program and the government could be doing better.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Bring Back Social Security Replacement Rates!

Alicia H. Munnell, Center for Retirement Research, Boston College

Each year, the Social Security actuaries project the system’s financial outlook over the next 75 years, and these projections are published in the annual Trustees Report.  Since 1989, these Reports have included data on future benefits as a percent of pre-retirement earnings – commonly called replacement rates – for workers at different places on the income scale.  That is, the Reports did include these data until this year, when the trustees decided to delete them.

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Posted on September 2, 2014  |  1 comment  |  Add your comment
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Monday, July 21, 2014

Following California's Lead: The Expansion of Paid Leave Through Social Insurance

Elizabeth Pandya, University of Maryland

As this particularly harsh winter draws to a close, millions of American workers have again spent another flu season faced with the challenge of choosing between paid work and caring for themselves or sick loved ones. According to a report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics last month, nearly 2.9 million full-time workers worked only part-time this past January due to illness-related absences and another 1.2 million traditionally full-time workers missed a week of work entirely.

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