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The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Program

Author: Mark G Duggan; Melissa Schettini Kearney; Stephanie Rennane; National Bureau of Economic Research,
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : National Bureau of Economic Research, 2015.
Series: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 21209.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The SSI program provides cash assistance to some of the nation's most vulnerable elderly, blind, and disabled residents. In this paper, we briefly summarize the history of the SSI program and present descriptive evidence on caseload composition and trends. We discuss relevant conceptual issues and empirical evidence focused on four key issues. First, we describe the advantages and disadvantages of categorical  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Mark G Duggan; Melissa Schettini Kearney; Stephanie Rennane; National Bureau of Economic Research,
OCLC Number: 910560076
Notes: "May 2015"
Description: 1 online resource (76 pages) : illustrations, maps.
Series Title: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 21209.
Responsibility: Mark Duggan, Melissa S. Kearney, Stephanie Rennane.

Abstract:

The SSI program provides cash assistance to some of the nation's most vulnerable elderly, blind, and disabled residents. In this paper, we briefly summarize the history of the SSI program and present descriptive evidence on caseload composition and trends. We discuss relevant conceptual issues and empirical evidence focused on four key issues. First, we describe the advantages and disadvantages of categorical eligibility requirements and we show that the SSI caseload has become increasingly comprised of difficult-to-verify conditions, namely pain and mental disabilities. Second, we describe systematic disincentives to accumulate earnings and assets inherent in the SSI program design, but emphasize that the more relevant set of questions for the SSI population are related to the full disability requirement for eligibility. Third, we describe the questions and research about long-term benefits and costs to program participants, in terms of whether the program adequately and appropriately serves the needs of disabled individuals and their family members. And fourth, we present information and evidence about program spillovers, both across programs and across federal and state levels of government. Throughout the paper we make numerous explicit references to areas where further study is warranted and open research questions remain. SSI is an important part of the U.S. safety net, but particular features of the program raise questions about whether there is a more effective way to provide income support for individuals with work-limiting disabilities and families with disabled the children. Our goal for this paper is to systematically present the issues for scholars and policy-makers to consider and explore.

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Primary Entity

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