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Chartbook on Work and Disability

Section 3: Factors Related to Work Disability

Work disability, the condition of being unable to work, or limited in the amount or kind of work, can be caused by a variety of circumstances both on and off the job. What chronic health conditions are the most frequent causes of work limitation? How do occupational injuries and illnesses affect work disability?

Many different factors contribute to the high numbers of people with disabilities who are not working or not in the labor force. First is the functional limitation itself, or attitudes about that others might have about the employability of individuals with such limitations. Some factors are demographic (age, gender, race, education, loss of benefits); some are related to income or opportunity. This section also addresses the relationship of such factors to work disability.

Topic Questions:

3.1. What are the median earnings of working people by disability status?

3.2. What chronic health conditions most frequently cause work limitation?

3.3. What is the trend in occupational illness and injury?

3.4. How many people receive Workers' Compensation?

3.5. How is work limitation associated with race and ethnicity?

3.6. How does work disability differ by gender?

3.7. How does work disability differ by age?

3.8. How does work disability differ by educational level?