The need for consistent criteria for impairment and disability

Yehuda Lerman*, Joseph Ribak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Medical committees that are responsible for pension funds (FMCs) rarely agree with decisions taken by occupational physicians to displace workers from their workplaces and to certify their eligibility for retirement on medical grounds. The major reason for this substantial disagreement, as demonstrated in this article, is a difference between the definition of disability used by the FMCs and that used by the employers or the occupational physicians. The dispute is usually about the evaluation of the worker's ability to function well in an alternative suitable job or with some modification in the customary job. It is also obvious that work options that existed in the past and were offered to disabled workers are diminishing nowadays due to technological and economic advances. The meaning of this disagreement to employers is that they can find their enterprises stuck with disabled workers who are unable to continue their jobs but are not entitled to pensions from the fund because they are considered suitable to cope with another theoretical job. The authors conclude with several approaches to avoiding certain dilemmas concerning the medical aspects associated with the displacement of disabled workers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-276
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997


  • Disability
  • Impairment
  • Pension funds
  • Premature retirement


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