Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Health Related Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Christine A. Reid


The following project is a compilation of three separate articles all utilizing a database extracted from the UNUM/Provident Life Insurance Company, including all consecutive short-term disability (STD) claims filed with UNUM from January 1, 1994 to December 31, 1996 from claimants who were also insured for long-term disability (LTD) by UNUM. The resulting sample includes 77,297 claims.The results of these studies are part of a larger investigation that documented the Progression of Disability Benefits (PODB) phenomenon. PODB refers to the migration of workers with work-limiting disabilities through a system of economic benefits resulting in their placement onto Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Claimant and employer demographics were found to influence the PODB. The following articles study three unique ways in which the PODB measure can be informative.The first of the articles tracts the experience of 400 individuals with neurological impairments through the PODB, and compares them with a general disability population on key demographic characteristics. In general, it is found that persons with neurological conditions have greater progression on to advanced disability levels than other types of disabilities. Individual claimants are also younger and male.The second article explores the relationship of integrated disability management(IDM) practices with PODB. It proposes that while the efficacy of IDM programs has been measured by the bottom line, that PODB can be used as an additional tool to assess effectiveness of DM programs. It finds that employers with higher levels of IDM activity will experience a reduced PODB rating.The third and final article examines one industry, Healthcare. It studies how demographics can be used to predict claimant industry as well as PODB performance. Findings reveal that men were more likely to move on to advanced disability benefits while workers in the Healthcare industry were less likely to move on to advanced statuses than employees in other industries. Furthermore, disability type is the greatest predictor of PODB, followed by age for all but one category in which employment sector was the next predictor of PODB. This finding leads to questions regarding how the workplace may contribute to disability and the PODB.


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