A new paper, by PWHS postdoctoral fellow Robert Macpherson and Co-director Chris McLeod and coauthors, found that men transitioned off disability benefits faster than women for shorter claim durations, then women transitioned off benefits faster than men for longer claims. The findings were consistent across three Canadian provinces.
Research has shown that there are important sex and gender-based differences in the work disability duration of men and women. This research is often limited to single jurisdictions, using different outcome measures, and therefore has limited generalisability of findings. This study examined if differences between work disability of men and women differed by province and by duration of work disability.
Cohorts of injured workers in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia (BC), Manitoba (MB) and Ontario (ON) were analysed using workers’ compensation data for work-related injuries occurring between 2007 and 2011. Work disability duration was measured using cumulative days in receipt of disability benefits paid during one-year post-injury. Poisson models with restricted cubic splines tested whether differences between men and women in the likelihood of transitioning off disability benefits varied by duration of work disability in each province, adjusting for confounders.
Men transitioned off disability benefits faster than women for claim durations of up to two to four months, after which women transitioned off disability benefits faster until ten months. Differences between men and women were consistent across all jurisdictions. For claims longer than ten months, men transitioned off work disability benefits faster than women in BC and ON, but there were no significant differences between men and women in MB.
Differences in the work disability duration between men and women vary by province and duration of work disability. Claims management processes need to be sensitive to differences that men and women face and the timing of interventions.