Rehabilitation before pension? - New LIVES IMPACT issue

Rehabilitation before pension? - New LIVES IMPACT issue

Decrease of the number of pensions, vocational rehabilitation measures and increase of the risk of non-take-up are tackled in this article by Emilie Rosenstein.

The impact of successive revisions, in particular the 4th, 5th and 6th revisions of Swiss Disability Insurance (DI), on insured persons and their access to benefits has, according to our study, led to several paradoxical developments. The expenditure reduction targeted by these three revisions to consolidate the DI budget has been achieved, however, this is primarily due to the tightening of eligibility criteria and the abolition of certain benefits. While assessment procedures of benefit claims have been significantly reduced, our study shows that the reduction in the number of pensions granted by DI is mainly due to an increased rate of refusals. Access to vocational rehabilitation measures have increased, albeit only modestly.

Another paradoxical effect: whereas the revisions targeted in particular the rising rate of young DI recipients, our study shows that their share has not decreased. Conversely, access to benefits has been significantly reduced for older insured people, however, without any significant increase in their access to vocational rehabilitation which is mainly granted to people aged 18 to 35 years.

In addition, our analysis shows the reinforcement of strong inequalities between people requesting DI for somatic and/or psychological reasons, while the number of people whose impairment is not recognised by DI has been increasing.

Lastly, biographical interviews conducted with DI recipients show that the reforms had a disincentivising effect as a result notably of the new DI tools to combat “abuse”, which tend to increase the risk of non-take-up of DI. Finally, there remains the open question about the situation of those who do not take-up their rights to DI and the future of the increasing number of people whose application DI denies.

Read the full version "Rehabilitation before pension? A longitudinal study sheds light on Swiss disability insurance reforms"