Workers' Compensation & Disability



The threat of disability is one of the major reasons for our social insurance programs. The Upjohn Institute maintains an active interest in state and provincial workers’ compensation programs for those disabled by a work-related cause. Researchers also study federal disability compensation programs (SSDI and SSI) for those disabled by more general causes. Both types of programs give rise to questions about benefit adequacy, funding requirements, and equity issues.


  • Do workers’ compensation and disability programs provide adequate benefits?
  • Are there effective means of facilitating return to work in either workers compensation or disability programs?
  • What safety initiatives are most effective in reducing workers compensation benefits?
  • Are there changes to the financing of workers compensation programs that would improve their efficiency?

Selected Institute Research

A Study of Occupational Disease Claims Within Washington's Workers' Compensation System
Kevin Hollenbeck, W.E. Upjohn Institute
Peter S. Barth, University of Connecticut
H. Allan Hunt, W.E. Upjohn Institute
Kenneth D. Rosenman, Michigan State University
Upjohn Institute Technical Report No. 13-028, 2013

The Evolution of Disability Management in North American Workers' Compensation Programs
H. Allan Hunt, Upjohn Institute
National Institute of Disability Management and Research, 2010

Counting Working-Age People with Disabilities: What Current Data Tell Us and Options for Improvement
Andrew J. Houtenville, New Editions Consulting, editor
David C. Stapleton, Mathematica Policy Research, editor
Robert R. Weathers II, Social Security Administration, editor
Richard V. Burkhauser, Cornell University, editor
Upjohn Institute Press, 2009

Washington Pension System Review
Peter Barth, University of Connecticut
Heather Grob, Saint Martin’s University
Henry Harder, University of Northern British Columbia
H. Allan Hunt, Upjohn Institute
Michael Silverstein, University of Washington
Upjohn Institute Technical Report No. 08-025, 2008

Performance Management in Workers’ Compensation Systems
H. Allan Hunt, Upjohn Institute
Employment Research 12(1): [1]-4, 2005

Safety Practices, Firm Culture, and Workplace Injuries
Richard J. Butler, Brigham Young University
Yong-Seung Park, Kyung Hee University
Upjohn Institute Press, 2005

More Institute Research about Workers Compensation & Disability

Useful Links

Employment Benefit Research Institute EBRI
Workers Compensation Research Institute WCRI