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Programmatic Definitions of Disability: Policy Implications

Publication Date

This paper looks at programmatic definitions of disability for federal disability programs by: (1) reviewing and examining major programmatic definitions of disability, and (2) describing complex eligibility processes by using the Social Security Disability Insurance program as an example. Programmatic definitions are critical from a federal policy perspective because they determine who is or could be eligible to receive benefits, who could not, and who could be if program modifications were made. Massive amounts are spent on federal programs targeted on persons with disabilities — $85 billion or 8% of all federal outlays in FY 1989. [26 PDF pages]

People with Disabilities