Public Insurance Systems: A Comparison of Cause-Based and Disability-Based Income Support Systems

  • Katherine LippelEmail author
  • Freek Lötters


This chapter examines eight disability insurance systems, four cause-based systems, and four disability-based systems, in order to draw attention to the importance of system rules as contextual factors in the return-to-work process affecting people with work disability. Part 1 looks at workers’ compensation, no-fault automobile insurance, crime victims’ compensation and accident compensation, four cause-based systems, and draws on examples from Canada, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. Part 2 looks at the situation in four European countries, where sickness and disability insurance are available: the Netherlands, Sweden, France, and Italy. This chapter draws attention to regulatory factors that can either promote or hinder return to work, and explains how cause-based systems introduce obstacles that limit the system’s ability to support workers in the return-to-work process because of the need to prove causation of disability to justify interventions. It examines various regulatory incentives for promoting return to work in different jurisdictions and concludes by underlining the importance of considering specific system effects, acknowledging that each system is different and has its own positive and negative effects on the worker and the work environment. These issues will have repercussions both for the design of a study in a given jurisdiction or for the development of a disability prevention practice.


Sickness Absence Work Ability Disability Pension Work Disability Compensation System 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, Civil Law SectionOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Institute of Health Policy and Management, Department Health EconomicsErasmus UniversityRotterdamThe Netherlands

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