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Effects of Disability Compensation on Participation in and Outcomes of Vocational Rehabilitation
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OBJECTIVE: The authors sought to determine the relationship between receipt of disability compensation and participants' success in a vocational rehabilitation program.

METHODS: Administrative data for 22,515 individuals who participated in the Veterans Health Administration compensated work therapy program between 1993 and 1998 were analyzed. Six dependent variables were compared between participants who were receiving disability compensation and those who were not: duration of participation in compensated work therapy, number of hours worked per week, mean hourly earnings, total income from compensated work therapy, dropout rate, and competitive employment status at discharge. Regression equations were determined for each dependent variable to assess associations with the degree of disability, the amount of disability compensation, and the type of compensation program.

RESULTS: Participants who were receiving disability benefits worked fewer hours in compensated work therapy each week, earned less income, had a higher dropout rate, and were less likely to be competitively employed at discharge. The amount of compensation and the type of program were modestly but significantly associated with participation in compensated work therapy and with outcome.

CONCLUSIONS: Unintended effects of disability compensation programs discourage full participation in vocational rehabilitation and result in poorer rehabilitation outcomes. (Authors)
Journal
2001
Psychiatric Services
52
11
1479-1493
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