Geographic Information

Federal

African Americans: Description of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income Participation and Benefit Levels Using the American Community Survey
Research and Statistics Note No. 2014-01 (released January 2014)
by Patricia P. Martin and John L. Murphy

The authors use American Community Survey (ACS) data to compare Social Security and Supplemental Security Income program participation and benefit levels of African Americans with those of the general population. The ACS data show that African Americans are more likely to be Supplemental Security Income recipients, and less likely to be Social Security beneficiaries. Higher rates of poverty, disability, and mortality among African Americans mean that they are also more likely to rely on Social Security survivor and disability benefits than are other beneficiaries.

The Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) and the Aged: How and Why the SPM and Official Poverty Estimates Differ
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 73 No. 4 (released November 2013)
by Benjamin Bridges and Robert V. Gesumaria

In November 2011, the Census Bureau released its first report on the Supplemental Poverty Measure. The SPM addresses many criticisms of the official poverty measure and is intended to provide an improved statistical picture of poverty. This article examines the extent of poverty identified by the two measures. First, we look at how the SPM and official estimates differ for various aged and nonaged groups. Then, we look at why the SPM poverty rate for the aged is much higher than the official rate.

Outcome Variation in the Social Security Disability Insurance Program: The Role of Primary Diagnoses
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 73 No. 2 (released May 2013)
by Javier Meseguer

This article investigates the role that primary impairments play in explaining heterogeneity in disability decisions. Using claimant-level data within a hierarchical framework, the author explores variation in outcomes along three dimensions: state of origin, adjudicative stage, and primary diagnosis. The findings indicate that the impairments account for a substantial portion of claimant-level variation in initial allowances. Furthermore, the author finds that the predictions of an initial and a final allowance are highly correlated when applicants are grouped by impairment. In other words, diagnoses that are more likely to result in an initial allowance also tend to be more likely to receive a final allowance.

Profile of Social Security Disabled Workers and Dependents Who Have a Connection to Workers' Compensation or Public Disability Benefits
Research and Statistics Note No. 2012-03 (released September 2012)
by Rene Parent, Incigul Sayman, and Kevin Kulzer

This note provides a comprehensive profile of the characteristics of disability beneficiaries with a connection to workers' compensation or public disability benefits (PDBs). The 8.3 percent of disabled workers who have this connection tend to be economically better off, more frequently middle aged, male, afflicted with a musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorder, and tend to wait longer to apply for social security disability benefits after onset than the general disabled-worker population. In our analysis, we have included a special focus on California, as this state represents a large portion of the PDB workload, and its experience has a substantial effect on the national picture.

Longitudinal Patterns of Medicaid and Medicare Coverage Among Disability Cash Benefit Awardees
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 3 (released August 2012)
by Kalman Rupp and Gerald F. Riley

This article analyzes the effect of longitudinal interactions between the Disability Insurance (DI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs in providing access to Medicare and Medicaid, using a sample of administrative records spanning 84 months. Our study is the first effort to link and analyze record data on participation in all four of these major, and highly interrelated, public benefit programs in the United States. We find that SSI facilitates high levels of Medicaid coverage for SSI awardees overall and provides access to Medicaid for many DI awardees during the 24-month Medicare waiting period. Many people who exit SSI retain their Medicaid coverage, but the gap in coverage between continuing SSI participants and those who leave the program increases over time. After Medicare kicks in, public health insurance coverage is virtually complete among awardees with some DI involvement, including dual Medicaid and Medicare coverage for some.

Longitudinal Outcomes of an Early Cohort of Ticket to Work Participants
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 3 (released August 2011)
by Gina A. Livermore and Allison Roche

Using data from the 2004–2006 National Beneficiary Surveys matched to Social Security administrative data, this study follows a cohort of disability beneficiaries participating in the Ticket to Work program for several years to assess changes in their service use, health status, employment, and income.

Social Security Disability Beneficiaries with Work-Related Goals and Expectations
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 3 (released August 2011)
by Gina A. Livermore

This study uses survey and administrative data to analyze the characteristics of working-age Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries who report having work goals or expectations, and the extent to which these beneficiaries become employed and leave the disability rolls during a 4-year period.

Longitudinal Statistics on Work Activity and Use of Employment Supports for New Social Security Disability Insurance Beneficiaries
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 3 (released August 2011)
by Su Liu and David C. Stapleton

Longitudinal statistics on the employment activities of Social Security Disability Insurance beneficiaries offer a different perspective than the Social Security Administration's published statistics, which are based on annual data, and have important policy implications.

Employment of Individuals in the Social Security Disability Programs
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 3 (released August 2011)
by Paul O'Leary, Gina A. Livermore, and David C. Stapleton

This article introduces and highlights the key findings of the other articles presented in this special issue, which focuses on the employment of beneficiaries in the Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income programs.

Distributional Effects of Reducing the Social Security Benefit Formula
Policy Brief No. 2010-02 (released November 2010)
by Glenn R. Springstead

A person's Social Security benefit, or primary insurance amount (PIA), is 90 percent of the lowest portion of lifetime earnings, plus 32 percent of the middle portion of lifetime earnings, plus 15 percent of the highest portion of lifetime earnings. This policy brief analyzes the distributional effects of three options (the three-point, five-point and upper) discussed by the Social Security Advisory Board to reduce the PIA. The first option would reduce the PIA by 3 percentage points; the second would reduce it by 5 percentage points; and the third would reduce the 32 and 15 percentages of the PIA to 21 and 10 percent, respectively. The third option would exempt about one quarter of the lowest earning beneficiaries, while reducing benefits by a median average of 19 percent in 2070. None would eliminate Social Security's long-term fiscal imbalance, although the third option would eliminate more (76 percent) of the deficit than the three-point (18 percent) and five-point (31 percent) options.

Expanding Access to Health Care for Social Security Disability Insurance Beneficiaries: Early Findings from the Accelerated Benefits Demonstration
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 70 No. 4 (released November 2010)
by Robert R. Weathers II, Chris Silanskis, Michelle Stegman, John Jones, and Susan Kalasunas

The Accelerated Benefits (AB) demonstration project provides health benefits to Social Security Disability Insurance beneficiaries who have no health insurance during the 24-month period most beneficiaries are required to wait before Medicare benefits begin. This article describes the project and presents baseline survey results on health insurance coverage among newly entitled beneficiaries and the characteristics of those without coverage. A 6-month follow-up survey provides information on the effects of the AB health benefits package on health care utilization and on reducing unmet medical needs. The article also reports the costs of providing the health benefits package during the 24-month Medicare waiting period.

Using Matched Survey and Administrative Data to Estimate Eligibility for the Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy Program
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 70 No. 2 (released May 2010)
by Erik Meijer, Lynn A. Karoly, and Pierre-Carl Michaud

This article uses matched survey and administrative data to estimate, as of 2006, the size of the population eligible for the Low-Income Subsidy (LIS), which was designed to provide "extra help" with premiums, deductibles, and copayments for Medicare Part D beneficiaries with low income and limited assets. The authors employ individual-level data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation and the Health and Retirement Study to cover the potentially LIS-eligible noninstitutionalized and institutionalized populations of all ages. The survey data are matched to Social Security administrative data to improve on potentially error-ridden survey measures of income components and program participation.

Elderly Poverty and Supplemental Security Income, 2002–2005
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 70 No. 2 (released May 2010)
by Joyce Nicholas and Michael Wiseman

This article is an extension of work reported in an earlier article entitled, "Elderly Poverty and Supplemental Security Income" (Social Security Bulletin 69(1): 45–73). Like the original work, the present study looks at the consequences of obtaining estimates of the prevalence of poverty among persons aged 65 or older by using administrative data to adjust incomes reported in the Current Population Survey. The original article looked at incomes in 2002; the present one covers measures of absolute and relative poverty status of the elderly during the 2003–2005 period. Again, we find that inclusion of administrative data presents challenges, but under the methodology we adopt, such adjustments lower estimated official poverty overall and increase estimated poverty rates for elderly SSI recipients by correcting for the misreporting of SSI, OASDI, and earnings receipt by CPS respondents.

The Age-18 Redetermination and Postredetermination Participation in SSI
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 69 No. 4 (released December 2009)
by Jeffrey Hemmeter and Elaine Gilby

This article describes the outcomes of the redetermination of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility when a child recipient reaches age 18. Statistics on the characteristics of youth whose eligibility is redetermined are presented using 8 years of administrative data, and the relationship between these characteristics and both an initial cessation decision and a successful appeal or reapplication for SSI are discussed.

The Research Contributions of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 69 No. 4 (released December 2009)
by Steven A. Sass

This article reviews the research contributions of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College over its 10-year history and their implications for Social Security and retirement income policy in three major areas: (1) Social Security's long-term financing shortfall, (2) the adequacy of retirement incomes, and (3) labor force participation at older ages as a means to improve retirement income security. The center has received substantial funding support from the Social Security Administration (SSA) in each area and has also successfully leveraged SSA's investment by attracting funding from other sources.

Occupations of SSI Recipients Who Work
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 69 No. 3 (released October 2009)
by Jeffrey Hemmeter

Although the Social Security Administration actively encourages Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients to work, relatively little is known about how the occupations of those who do work compare with occupations of the nonrecipient population. This article uses the 2007 American Community Survey to estimate dissimilarity indices, which are used to compare the predicted and actual occupational distributions of working SSI recipients with the occupational distributions of the nonrecipient populations with and without disabilities. Although the actual occupational distributions are quite different between these groups, much of the difference can be explained by demographic characteristics, human capital, and disability type.

Access Restrictions and Confidentiality Protections in the Health and Retirement Study
Research and Statistics Note No. 2009-01 (released July 2009)
by Lionel P. Deang and Paul S. Davies

Organizations involved in statistical surveys of human subjects face two important and competing challenges: protecting data confidentiality while maximizing data accessibility to potential researchers. This note examines how the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), conducted by the Institute for Social Research of the University of Michigan, attempts to balance data confidentiality with the desire to broaden the pool of potential data users. Current HRS procedures are summarized and compared with those of organizations with similar programs, and potential ways to expand HRS use without compromising confidentiality are discussed.

Elderly Poverty and Supplemental Security Income
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 69 No. 1 (released May 2009)
by Joyce Nicholas and Michael Wiseman

Provided here are the absolute and relative poverty status of 2002 elderly Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients. Official poverty estimates are generated from the Current Population Survey's Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS/ASEC). The poverty study presented here differs from previous studies in that it is based on CPS/ASEC income and weight records conditionally adjusted by matching Social Security administrative data. This effort improves the coverage of SSI receipt and the accuracy of SSI estimates. The adjusted CPS/administrative matched data reveal lower 2002 poverty rates among elderly persons (with and without SSI payments) than those generated from the unadjusted CPS/ASEC data.

Estimated Retirement Benefits in the Social Security Statement
Research and Statistics Note No. 2008-05 (released November 2008)
by Glenn R. Springstead, David A. Weaver, and Jason J. Fichtner
Alternate Measures of Replacement Rates for Social Security Benefits and Retirement Income
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 68 No. 2 (released October 2008)
by Andrew G. Biggs and Glenn R. Springstead

Replacement rates are common and useful tools used by individuals and policy analysts to plan for retirement and assess the sufficiency of Social Security benefits and overall retirement income. Because the calculation and meaning of replacement rates differs depending on the definition of preretirement earnings, this article examines four alternative measures: final preretirement earnings, constant income payable from the present value of lifetime earnings (PV payment), wage-indexed average of lifetime earnings, and inflation-adjusted average of lifetime earnings (CPI average). The article also calculates replacement rates for Social Security beneficiaries aged 64–66 in 2005.

The Reservation Wages of Social Security Disability Insurance Beneficiaries
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 67 No. 4 (released May 2008)
by Sophie Mitra

Using the New Beneficiary Data System, this article examines the reservation wages of a sample of Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) beneficiaries with work capabilities. It analyzes the magnitude of the reservation wages of DI beneficiaries compared to the last wage earned and to benefit amounts. In addition, the article discusses the determinants of reservation wages for DI beneficiaries.

Benefit Adequacy Among Elderly Social Security Retired-Worker Beneficiaries and the SSI Federal Benefit Rate
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 67 No. 3 (released April 2008)
by Kalman Rupp, Alexander Strand, Paul S. Davies, and James Sears

The federal benefit rate (FBR) of the Supplemental Security Income program provides an inflation-indexed income guarantee for aged and disabled people with low assets. Some consider the FBR as an attractive measure of Social Security benefit adequacy. Others propose the FBR as an administratively simple, well-targeted minimum Social Security benefit. However, these claims have not been empirically tested. Using microdata from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, this article finds that the FBR is an imprecise measure of benefit adequacy; it incorrectly identifies as economically vulnerable many who are not poor, and disregards some who are poor. The reason for this is that the FBR-level benefit threshold of adequacy considers the Social Security benefit in isolation and ignores the family consumption unit. The FBR would provide an administratively simple but poorly targeted foundation for a minimum Social Security benefit. The empirical estimates quantify the substantial tradeoffs between administrative simplicity and target effectiveness.

Characteristics of Noninstitutionalized DI and SSI Program Participants
Research and Statistics Note No. 2008-02 (released January 2008)
by Anne DeCesaro and Jeffrey Hemmeter
Poverty-level Annuitization Requirements in Social Security Proposals Incorporating Personal Retirement Accounts
Issue Paper No. 2005-01 (released April 2005)
by Dave Shoffner, Andrew G. Biggs, and Preston Jacobs

In the current discussions of Social Security reform, voluntary personal retirement accounts have been proposed. Recent research and debate have focused on several aspects of these accounts, including how such accounts would affect aggregate saving, system finances, and benefit levels. Little attention, however, has been paid to policies that would govern the distribution of account balances. This analysis considers such policies with respect to the annuitization of account balances at retirement using the Social Security Administration's Modeling Income in the New Term (MINT) model and a modified version of a recent legislative proposal to evaluate the effects of partial annuitization requirements.

International

"Fast-Track" Strategies in Long-Term Public Disability Programs Around the World
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 1 (released February 2012)
by David Rajnes

This article examines fast-track procedures in long-term public disability programs in the United States and several other countries. Such procedures share a common goal of accelerating applicants—generally for those with severe disabilities, blindness, or facing terminal illness—through the disability determination process.

Next Generation of Individual Account Pension Reforms in Latin America
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 1 (released February 2011)
by Barbara E. Kritzer, Stephen J. Kay, and Tapen Sinha

This article examines the recent reforms in individual account systems in Latin America, with a focus on the recent overhaul of the Chilean system and major reforms in Mexico, Peru, and Colombia. The authors analyze key elements of pension reform in the region relating to individual accounts: system coverage, fees, competition, investment, the impact of gender on benefits, financial education, voluntary savings, and payouts.

Permanent Disability Social Insurance Programs in Japan
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 70 No. 1 (released February 2010)
by David Rajnes

This article examines the experience of Japan's social insurance permanent disability programs and compares its key features with the Social Security Disability Insurance program operating in the United States. It analyzes the determination and appeals processes in Japan for claiming permanent social insurance disability pensions. Trends in the number of Japanese disability program beneficiaries and benefit expenditures are also discussed.

The Research Contributions of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 69 No. 4 (released December 2009)
by Steven A. Sass

This article reviews the research contributions of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College over its 10-year history and their implications for Social Security and retirement income policy in three major areas: (1) Social Security's long-term financing shortfall, (2) the adequacy of retirement incomes, and (3) labor force participation at older ages as a means to improve retirement income security. The center has received substantial funding support from the Social Security Administration (SSA) in each area and has also successfully leveraged SSA's investment by attracting funding from other sources.

Chile's Next Generation Pension Reform
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 68 No. 2 (released October 2008)
by Barbara E. Kritzer

Since its inception in 1981, Chile's system of mandatory individual retirement accounts has become a model for pension reformers around the world. A March 2008 comprehensive pension reform law made major changes that address some key policy challenges including worker coverage, gender equity, pension adequacy, and administrative fees. The cornerstone of the new law sets up a basic universal pension as a supplement to the individual accounts system.

The Canadian Safety Net for the Elderly
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 68 No. 2 (released October 2008)
by Michael Wiseman and Martynas A. Yčas

Canada's Public Pensions System is widely applauded for reducing poverty among the elderly. This article reviews benefits provided to Canada's older people and compares the Canadian system to the U.S. Supplemental Security Income program. Although Canada's system would probably be judged prohibitively expensive for the United States, the authors argue that there are nevertheless lessons to be learned from the Canadian experience.

KiwiSaver: New Zealand's New Subsidized Retirement Savings Plans
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 67 No. 4 (released May 2008)
by Barbara E. Kritzer

On July 1, 2007, New Zealand introduced KiwiSaver, a new subsidized retirement savings plan. All new entrants to the labor force and anyone starting a new job are automatically enrolled in a plan and may opt out if they wish. Anyone younger than age 65, including the self-employed and anyone not in the labor force, may choose to set up a KiwiSaver account. The government provides tax credits for both employer and account holder contributions, a one-time tax-free payment to each account, and an annual fee subsidy to defray administrative costs.

The Evolution of Japanese Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 67 No. 3 (released April 2008)
by David Rajnes

This article examines the development of Japanese voluntary employer-sponsored retirement plans with an emphasis on recent trends. Before 2001, companies in Japan offered retirement benefits as lump-sum severance payments and/or benefits from one of two types of defined benefit (DB) pension plans. One DB plan type was based on an earlier occupational pension model used in the United States. The other DB plan type allowed companies to opt out of the earnings-related portion of social security. Landmark laws passed in 2001 introduced a new generation of occupational retirement plans to employers and employees, creating three new DB plan designs and two new defined contribution types of plans. Since that time, the mix of employer-sponsored retirement plans offered in Japan has changed significantly, and overall employee coverage has declined. On balance, employer-sponsored retirement plans have remained largely DB in design.

Individual Accounts in Other Countries
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 66 No. 1 (released September 2005)
by Barbara E. Kritzer

To date, more than 30 countries have established some form of individual accounts in their retirement systems. This article identifies those countries, categorizes how the individual accounts fit into their retirement income systems, and identifies some basic characteristics of the accounts. Because this analysis of individual accounts is intended to inform the current United States debate involving Social Security, the discussion is limited to countries in which such accounts are part or all of a mandatory retirement income program.

Design and Implementation Issues in Swedish Individual Pension Accounts
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 65 No. 4 (released May 2005)
by R. Kent Weaver

Sweden's new multipillar pension system includes a system of mandatory fully funded individual accounts. The Swedish system offers contributors more than 600 fund options from a variety of private-sector fund managers. However, in the most recent rounds of fund choice, more than 90 percent of new labor market entrants have not made an active choice of funds and thus have ended up in a government-sponsored default fund.

The Swedish system offers a number of lessons about implementing a mandatory individual account tier. Centralized administration keeps administrative costs down but requires considerable lead time. A very large number of fund options are likely to be offered unless strong entry barriers are in place. Engaging new labor market entrants in fund choice is likely to be difficult. A significant percentage of those making an active fund choice may choose funds that are very specialized and risky. Finally, special care must be devoted to designing a default fund and continual consumer communication.

Recent Changes to the Chilean System of Individual Accounts
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 64 No. 4 (released June 2003)
by Barbara E. Kritzer

Chile was the first country to replace its public pay-as you-go system with individual accounts. Since its inception in 1981, the new program has undergone a number of changes that offer workers more choices than they had before. This note describes those changes, which include an increase in the type and number of funds from which a worker may choose for an individual account, more incentives for making additional voluntary contributions, and the introduction of a separate mandatory individual account for unemployment benefits.

Social Security Reform in Central and Eastern Europe: Variations on a Latin American Theme
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 64 No. 4 (released June 2003)
by Barbara E. Kritzer

The Latin American model of social security reform with individual accounts has been adopted by a number of Central and Eastern European countries. That alternative to a pay-as-you-go system is sometimes advocated as a desirable model for solving problems in developed systems such as that of the United States. This article describes the Central and Eastern European systems and compares them with the Latin American systems.

The Canada Pension Plan's Experience with Investing Its Portfolio in Equities
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 64 No. 2 (released September 2002)
by Mark A. Sarney and Amy M. Preneta

This article examines the experience of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) in investing its surplus funds in equities. The CPP investment policy is viewed by some experts as a possible model for increasing the investment income of Social Security. The article discusses the key features of this policy, its implementation, and results to date.

Argentina's Pensions System
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 64 No. 1 (released April 2002)
by Barbara E. Kritzer
Social Security Privatization in Latin America
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 63 No. 2 (released December 2000)
by Barbara E. Kritzer

The new, partially privatized social security system adopted by Chile in 1981 has since been implemented, with some variations, in a number of Latin American and old-world transition economies with either a single- or multi-tier system. That alternative to a pay-as-you-go system is sometimes advocated as a desirable model for solving problems in developed systems, such as that of the United States. This article describes the new programs in Latin America, their background, and similarities and differences among them.

Retirement Income Security in the United Kingdom
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 62 No. 1 (released June 1999)
by Lillian Liu

This article examines the U.K. retirement income security system from the American perspective. It addresses issues that most concern U.S. analysts: how the United Kingdom has kept its future public pension costs at a manageable level, the extent to which privatization of public pensions has contributed to low pensions costs, the popular appeal of individual pension accounts, and the impact of privatization on retirement income. These issues are best understood in the context of the U.K. pension program's particular institutional structure and policies, two of which—"contracting out" of public pensions, and strong reliance on means-tested benefits—have been largely rejected in the evolution of U.S. policy to date.

Particular use is made of recently available data on coverage rates for public and private pension programs over the total working population and administrative records on inactive personal pension accounts.

Retirement Income Security in the United Kingdom
ORES Working Paper No. 79 (released November 1998)
by Lillian Liu

This study examines the United Kingdom's retirement income security system from the American perspective. It addresses issues that most concern U.S. analysts: how the United Kingdom has kept its future public pension costs at a manageable level, the extent to which privatization of public pensions has contributed to these savings, the popular appeal of individual pension accounts, and the impact of privatization on retirement income. These issues are best understood in the context of the U.K. pension program's particular institutional structure and policies, two of which—"contracting out" of public pensions and strong reliance on means-tested benefits—have been largely rejected in the evolution of U.S. policy to date.

Particular use is made of recently available data on coverage rates for public and private pension programs over the total working population and administrative records on inactive personal pension accounts.

Privatizing Social Security: The Chilean Experience
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 59 No. 3 (released July 1996)
by Barbara E. Kritzer

In 1981, Chile introduced a new approach to social insurance, a system of individual capitalization accounts financed solely by the employee. This new privatized system was an improvement over Chile's failing pay-as-you-go arrangement. As many countries worldwide are facing financial problems with their social security system, they are now looking to the Chilean model in trying to find solutions. This article describes the conditions that led to the new system, the transition, and details of the new privatized system.

Poverty Among Single Elderly Women Under Different Systems of Old-Age Security: A Comparative Review
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 59 No. 3 (released July 1996)
by Jürg K. Siegenthaler

This study takes stock of available comparative research on the economic status of elderly single women in six industrialized countries: France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States. A systematic comparison of income has become easier due to such standardized data bases as the Luxembourg Income Study.

But an explanation for different poverty rates among older women who are on their own requires a further, differentiated assessment of the countries' retirement benefit structures. This article attempts such a review. It makes use of a variety of single-country sources and takes into account the institutional heterogeneity of old-age security systems. The study concludes with a view of the effectiveness of different old-age security systems in preventing poverty among older single women.

Social Insurance Provisions for Children With Disabilities in Selected Industrialized Countries
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 58 No. 3 (released July 1995)
by Ilene R. Zeitzer

In the United States, low-income families who have a child or children with a disability may be eligible for cash benefits payable under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. In the last few years, the number of these children on the SSI rolls has increased dramatically due, in large part, to new standards developed in response to a 1990 Supreme Court decision and the subsequent retroactive activity as a result of that decision. The rise in the number of child beneficiaries has led to increased concerns as to whether cash benefits are the best way to help these children and their families deal with the additional needs and expenses caused by disabilities. This article begins with a summary of recent American developments regarding the childhood disability issue as background to an exploration of comparative practices.

In light of the current interest in the United States concerning children with disabilities, it seems timely to explore the approaches used by other countries' social insurance programs. This study details the practices and provisions of 14 European countries and 4 other developed countries (Australia, Israel, Japan, and New Zealand). In addition to examining the variables involved in making cash benefits available and awarding them to families on behalf of disabled children, the article also provides information of in-kind benefits to which such families would be entitled and gives some insight as to the philosophy and policy goals of selected foreign programs.

State and Local

Outcome Variation in the Social Security Disability Insurance Program: The Role of Primary Diagnoses
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 73 No. 2 (released May 2013)
by Javier Meseguer

This article investigates the role that primary impairments play in explaining heterogeneity in disability decisions. Using claimant-level data within a hierarchical framework, the author explores variation in outcomes along three dimensions: state of origin, adjudicative stage, and primary diagnosis. The findings indicate that the impairments account for a substantial portion of claimant-level variation in initial allowances. Furthermore, the author finds that the predictions of an initial and a final allowance are highly correlated when applicants are grouped by impairment. In other words, diagnoses that are more likely to result in an initial allowance also tend to be more likely to receive a final allowance.

Profile of Social Security Disabled Workers and Dependents Who Have a Connection to Workers' Compensation or Public Disability Benefits
Research and Statistics Note No. 2012-03 (released September 2012)
by Rene Parent, Incigul Sayman, and Kevin Kulzer

This note provides a comprehensive profile of the characteristics of disability beneficiaries with a connection to workers' compensation or public disability benefits (PDBs). The 8.3 percent of disabled workers who have this connection tend to be economically better off, more frequently middle aged, male, afflicted with a musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorder, and tend to wait longer to apply for social security disability benefits after onset than the general disabled-worker population. In our analysis, we have included a special focus on California, as this state represents a large portion of the PDB workload, and its experience has a substantial effect on the national picture.

Workplace Injuries and the Take-Up of Social Security Disability Benefits
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 3 (released August 2012)
by Paul O'Leary, Leslie I. Boden, Seth A. Seabury, Al Ozonoff, and Ethan Scherer

Workplace injuries and illnesses are an important cause of disability. States have designed their workers' compensation programs to provide cash and medical-care benefits for those injuries and illnesses, but people who become disabled at work may also be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) and related Medicare benefits. This article uses matched state workers' compensation and Social Security data to estimate whether workplace injuries and illnesses increase the probability of receiving DI benefits and whether people who become DI beneficiaries receive benefits at younger ages.

Longitudinal Statistics on Work Activity and Use of Employment Supports for New Social Security Disability Insurance Beneficiaries
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 3 (released August 2011)
by Su Liu and David C. Stapleton

Longitudinal statistics on the employment activities of Social Security Disability Insurance beneficiaries offer a different perspective than the Social Security Administration's published statistics, which are based on annual data, and have important policy implications.

Employment among Social Security Disability Program Beneficiaries, 1996–2007
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 3 (released August 2011)
by Arif Mamun, Paul O'Leary, David C. Wittenburg, and Jesse Gregory

Using linked administrative data from program and earnings records, we summarize the 2007 employment rates of working-age (18–64) Social Security disability program beneficiaries at the national and state levels, as well as changes in employment since 1996. Substantial variation exists within the population. Disability Insurance beneficiaries and those younger than age 40 were much more likely to work relative to other Social Security beneficiaries. There are also strong regional differences in the employment rates among disability beneficiaries of working age, and these differences are persistent over time.

The Research Contributions of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 69 No. 4 (released December 2009)
by Steven A. Sass

This article reviews the research contributions of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College over its 10-year history and their implications for Social Security and retirement income policy in three major areas: (1) Social Security's long-term financing shortfall, (2) the adequacy of retirement incomes, and (3) labor force participation at older ages as a means to improve retirement income security. The center has received substantial funding support from the Social Security Administration (SSA) in each area and has also successfully leveraged SSA's investment by attracting funding from other sources.

Social Security Beneficiaries Affected by the Windfall Elimination Provision in 2006
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 68 No. 2 (released October 2008)
by Barbara A. Lingg

The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) is a method of computing benefits for some workers who receive a pension based on non-Social Security covered work. At the end of 2006, about 970,000 beneficiaries, mainly retired workers, were affected by the WEP. This article provides a brief legislative history, describes the WEP computation, and presents statistical data about beneficiaries affected by the WEP.

State and Local Pension Plans' Equity Holdings and Returns
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 63 No. 2 (released December 2000)
by Mark A. Sarney

This article examines the recent trends in the size and performance of the equity investments of state and local pension plans. It also provides a context for the discussion about investing some portion of the Social Security trust fund reserves in private equities.

Disability Trends in the United States: A National and Regional Perspective
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 57 No. 3 (released July 1994)
by William J. Nelson, Jr.
Geographic Patterns of Disability in the United States
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 57 No. 1 (released January 1994)
by John L. McCoy, Miles Davis, and Russell E. Hudson
Regional and State Patterns of Population Change and Benefit Receipt, 1980–84
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 49 No. 4 (released April 1986)
Determinants of Interstate Migration of the Elderly
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 36 No. 9 (released September 1973)
by Steve L. Barsby and Dennis R. Cos
Disabled-Worker Beneficiaries Under OASDHI: Regional and State Patterns
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 36 No. 9 (released September 1973)
by Phoebe H. Goff
Federal Grants to State and Local Governments, 1971–72
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 36 No. 6 (released June 1973)
by Sophie R. Dales
Federal Grants to State and Local Governments, 1970–71
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 35 No. 6 (released June 1972)
by Sophie R. Dales
Federal Grants to State and Local Governments, 1969–70
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 34 No. 9 (released September 1971)
by Sophie R. Dales
Federal Grants to State and Local Governments, 1968–69
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 33 No. 10 (released October 1970)
by Sophie R. Dales
Federal Grants to State and Local Governments, 1967–68
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 32 No. 8 (released August 1969)
by Sophie R. Dales
Federal Grants to State and Local Governments, 1966–67
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 31 No. 7 (released July 1968)
by Sophie R. Dales
Federal Grants To State And Local Governments, 1965–66
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 30 No. 7 (released July 1967)
by Sophie R. Dales
Federal Grants, 1964–65
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 29 No. 6 (released June 1966)
by Sophie R. Dales
Federal Grants, 1963–64
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 28 No. 6 (released June 1965)
by Sophie R. Dales
Disability and Old-Age Benefits, by State, December 31, 1964
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 28 No. 6 (released June 1965)
Federal Grants, 1962–63
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 27 No. 6 (released June 1964)
by Sophie R. Dales
Disability and Old-Age Benefits, by State, December 31, 1963
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 27 No. 6 (released June 1964)
Disability and Old-Age Benefits, by State, December 31, 1962
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 26 No. 6 (released June 1963)
Federal Grants, 1961–62
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 26 No. 6 (released June 1963)
by Sophie R. Dales
Expenditures for Assistance Payments from State-Local Funds, 1960–61
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 26 No. 5 (released May 1963)
by Frank J. Hanmer and Shirley D. Fairley
Disability Insurance Benefits in Current-Payment Status, by State, December 31, 1961
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 25 No. 9 (released September 1962)
Old-Age Benefits in Current-Payment Status, by State, December 31, 1961
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 25 No. 9 (released September 1962)
Twenty-five Years of Social Security in the South
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 24 No. 8 (released August 1961)
by Ida C. Merriam
Federal Grants to State and Local Governments, 1959–60
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 24 No. 6 (released June 1961)
by Sophie R. Dales
Old-Age Benefits in Current-Payment Status, by State, December 31, 1959
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 23 No. 9 (released September 1960)
by Gerald Hutchinson and Hammett Buchanan
Disability Insurance Benefits in Current-Payment Status, by State, December 31, 1959
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 23 No. 9 (released September 1960)
by Hammett Buchanan
Federal Grants to State and Local Governments, 1958–59
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 23 No. 7 (released July 1960)
by Sophie R. Dales
Federal Grants to State and Local Governments, 1957–58
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 22 No. 6 (released June 1959)
by Sophie R. Dales
Old-Age Benefits in Current-Payment Status, by State, December 31, 1957
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 21 No. 7 (released July 1958)
Federal Grants to State and Local Governments, 1956–57
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 21 No. 6 (released June 1958)
by Sophie R. Dales
Expenditures for Assistance Payments from State-Local Funds, 1956–57
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 21 No. 6 (released June 1958)
by Frank J. Hanmer
Federal Grants to State and Local Governments, 1955–56
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 20 No. 6 (released June 1957)
by Sophie R. Dales
Federal Grants to State and Local Governments, 1954–55
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 19 No. 6 (released June 1956)
Federal Grants to State and Local Governments, 1953–54
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 18 No. 7 (released July 1955)
Age of the Population and Per Capita Income, by State, 1953
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 17 No. 12 (released December 1954)
Federal Grants to State and Local Governments, 1952–53
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 17 No. 6 (released June 1954)
Federal Grants to State and Local Governments, 1951–52
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 16 No. 6 (released June 1953)
Federal Grants to State and Local Governments, 1950–51
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 15 No. 6 (released June 1952)
Children's Contributions to Old-Age Assistance Recipients in North Dakota and South Dakota
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 14 No. 8 (released August 1951)
by Saul Kaplan
Benefits in Current-Payment Status, State Distribution
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 14 No. 7 (released July 1951)
Federal Grants to State and Local Governments, 1949–50
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 14 No. 6 (released June 1951)
Federal Grants to State and Local Governments, 1948–49
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 13 No. 6 (released June 1950)
Federal Grants to States, 1947–48
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 12 No. 6 (released June 1949)
Estimates of Aged Population, by State, 1940–48
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 12 No. 1 (released January 1949)
Trends in Interstate Migration Among the Aged
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 11, No. 3 (released March 1948)
by Jacob Fisher
Development of Federal Grant Allocations
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 10, No. 9 (released September 1947)
by Cecile Goldberg