The government should create incentives for employers to retain disabled workers on their payrolls as a way of slowing unsustainable increases in the number of people receiving Social Security disability benefits, according to a new report.
Adding a "front end" of benefits to keep the disabled in their jobs could arrest the rapidly growing expense of the federal disability program, a problem that has largely escaped the scrutiny of policymakers, according to the report's authors at the Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project and the left-leaning Center for American Progress.
Their proposal would require workers and employers to share the cost of a modest private disability insurance package, which is between $150 and $250 a year, according to the report, which is to be officially unveiled at a Dec. 3 event in Washington.
Workers seeking to go onto the federal disability program would first have to be approved for benefits from the private policy. Those benefits would go toward rehabilitation services, partial income support and other related services, the researchers said....
David Autor, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher who co-authored the study, acknowledged that the overall proposal would likely face huge hurdles in a political environment that is growing increasingly hostile to new government mandates.
What could possibly go wrong?