Yonatan Ben-Shalom

Yonatan Ben-Shalom

Principal Researcher
  • Analysis of disability policy and programs
  • Quantitative research on working-age people with disabilities
  • Access to care
Focus Areas
  • Health
  • Disability
  • Employment and Income Support
  • Statistics and Measurements
About Yonatan

Yonatan Ben-Shalom specializes in policies and programs related to the employment and income of people with disabilities. From 2013 to 2016, he directed the Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work Policy Collaborative, an initiative funded by the Office of Disability Employment Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor. He currently serves as principal investigator for several studies funded by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.

Since joining Mathematica in 2009, Ben-Shalom’s work has focused primarily on SSA’s disability programs and return-to-work outcomes among beneficiaries. Examples include a study of characteristics and employment outcomes among people who first received Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits before age 40, a study of factors associated with the achievement of certain return-to-work milestones by SSDI beneficiaries, and an analysis of long-term statistics on the employment and use of work incentives among people receiving Supplemental Security Income.

Ben-Shalom also has extensive experience designing and conducting advanced quantitative analyses using administrative and survey data. Currently, he is using SSA administrative files to study pathways followed by new SSDI beneficiaries before and after they exit the program. He also recently used the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey to assess the feasibility of using diagnosis data in Medicare claims to identify beneficiaries with disabilities.

As a member of the American Economic Association and the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, Ben-Shalom regularly presents at national conferences and throughout the Washington, DC, area. He has published in the journals Demography and Social Security Bulletin and in The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Poverty. He is also an expert reviewer for the Disability and Health Journal and Journal of Disability Policy Studies. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the Johns Hopkins University.

Key Publications
Key Projects
  • Disability Research Consortium

    Mathematica is one of two policy research centers that lead the SSA's Disability Research Consortium. The DRC fosters new research from a team of disability policy experts from Mathematica and three universities.

Latest News
  • The Employment/Eligibility Service (EES) System

    The authors of a new working paper describe a proposal that would start the modernization of economic security for workers who experience work-threatening medical conditions by creating a new gateway for them to access employment supports and SSDI benefits.