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This paper evaluates the effectiveness of disability benefits for the elderly. Using seventeen waves of panel data, it first analyzes the extent to which receipt is responsive to changes in disability status. Second, it investigates the extent of delays in first receipt. Third, it compares later outcomes of recipients and non-recipients, accounting for selection into the program. Results indicate that entry is highly responsive to previous changes in disability, and that the program enhances persistently recipients' financial wellbeing. However, considerable delays in receipt are also found. Besides, the evidence of characteristics unrelated to eligibility influencing the assignment mechanism raises horizontal equity concerns.
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