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← Overview Database of Innovative Social Policies in Europe

Tightened eligibility criteria for disability pensions

Country of implementation
General short description of the innovation
As part of the 5th revision of the federal law on disability insurance, introduced in 2008, the tightened eligibility criteria include: / - Minimum contribution requirements to be entitled to disability pensions were raised from one to three years. However, under certain circumstances, for non-active claimants, caring periods and contributions from spouses can still compensate wage contributions. / - Stricter medical criteria: disability pensions are now granted only to people whose work incapacity (whether for physical or mental illness conditions) can be clearly attributable to health problems, and only if health problems can be objectively detected (this excludes a subjective perception of health problems) /
Target group
Policy Field
  • social
Type of Policy
  • public
Duration of the policy
The reform was introduced in 2008
Scope of innovation
  • Scope: structural
  • Budgets: none. In 2007, the measures were expected to bring about cost savings of about 300 million CHF each year ? 246,8 million Euros.
  • Number of intended beneficiaries: unknown
  • Spatial coverage: national
General description of (intended) objectives and strategies
The objective was to restrict access to disability benefits, reduce the number of new disability pensions by 20 percent as compared to its highest level in 2003, and to contribute to the financial consolidation of disability insurance by 2025.
Nature of the innovation-long-term perspective
strong programmatic change
Type of ideal-typical strategy for the innovation
  • liberalisation
Type of innovation
  • retrenchment or expansion of an existing/earlier policy
New outputs
  • benefit eligibility (Restricted access to disability pensions)
Intended target group
Working age population
  • main source of income: social protection (disability benefits)
Actors involved in policy-making/implementation and/or evaluation
  • agency or national social insurance body (Cantonal disability offices as implementation agents. )
  • central state
Intended output
  • benefit eligibility (Restricted access to disability pensions)
Intended and unintended outcomes
no national figures existing
Clarification of outcomes in terms of impacting resilience and labour market inclusion
Access to disability benefits to avoid social assistance is made more difficult for the long-term unemployed with health problems.
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