New Report Examines Factors Used in Social Security’s Process for Determining Disability in Adults

March 5, 2018

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine examines to what extent and in which ways health care utilization -- such as in-patient hospitalizations, emergency department use, and hospital readmission -- reflects disease severity, disability, and ability to perform gainful activity.  The committee that conducted the study was unable to find an association between health care utilization and disease severity as it relates to the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) determination of severe impairment -- an impairment or combination of impairments severe enough to prevent a person from performing any gainful activity regardless of age, education, or work experience. Donald H. Taylor, Jr, PhD, served on the study panel.