Fontenay, S. & Tojerow, I.
Thiepolam Fund Research Grant, 2020-2021

It has been shown that many Disability Insurance (DI) recipients retain a considerable capacity to work. These individuals would probably be better off if they were participating in the labor market on a part-time basis rather than relying entirely on benefits. There exists a dedicated program in Belgium that allows DI recipients to return to work on a part-time basis and keep part of their benefits. However, participation in the program is relatively low, only 11% of long-term DI recipients at the end of 2017. Among the reasons for low participation, our discussions with stakeholders have highlighted the lack of accessible information and the high administrative complexity to enroll. We designed an intervention targeted at DI recipients who are more likely to return to the labor market but are not aware of the existence of the program, or lack information about the steps to take or perceive high risk related to losing benefits. The informational intervention consists of a personalized letter with a description of the program in layman’s terms and convenient sign-up options. We are, to our knowledge, the first to think about such informational intervention in the context of DI. This is of particular importance since administrative complexity could create a bigger burden for people who are more fragile because of health related problems.