WI23-11: Work-Related Injuries and Older Workers: Earnings, Labor Supply, Program Participation, and Retirement



Despite older workers accounting for a sizable share of the population that sufers serious work-related injuries and illnesses, little is known about the efects of workplace injuries that occur later in workers’ careers, as workers plan for and approach retirement. This study examines the longitudinal trajectories of injured workers’ earnings, labor supply, and program participation before and after injury onset and provides some of the frst evidence on the implications of work-related injuries and illnesses for the timing of OASI claiming and receipt of benefts from Workers’ Compensation (WC), SSDI, and SSI. The analysis focuses on a sample of older injured workers from the Health and Retirement Study data and classifes injuries according to work-relatedness and persistence (i.e., chronic versus not chronic). Results indicate sharp and immediate declines in earnings and employment upon injury – declines that contribute to marked increases in the likelihood of retirement and OASI claiming, as well as participation in SSDI and WC, and to a lesser extent, SSI. The study fnds few diferences in the trajectories of injured workers’ economic outcomes based on whether the injury arose from work. Instead, the patterns tend to difer more by how persistent the injury is, though there are some subtle diferences in program participation by source of injury. Finally, while workers who were accommodated by their employer at the time of injury are more likely to work in the year they frst report the injury, accommodation does not correlate with earnings, program participation, or early OASI claiming.


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WI23-11: The Long-run Effects of Workplace Injuries on Older Workers: Earnings, SSDI, SSI, and Early Retirement

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