Research & Analysis by Lenna D. Kennedy
This article looks at the history of earnings in covered employment for the 300,000 disabled SSI beneficiaries who were working in December 1997. It provides background information on beneficiaries essential to SSA's efforts to help them return to work.
Beginning in January 1974, the three previously existing State adult assistance programs were amalgamated into the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, to be administered by the Social Security Administration. This change was made to provide a nationwide floor of income for needs-based assistance, and to make such payments more efficiently by working through SSA's existing network of field offices.
This article traces the 25-year patterns of growth and changes in the number of persons applying for assistance, the number and proportion of those applicants who were awarded payments, and the overall number of persons who received SSI. Three major age groups are considered separately: those aged 65 or older, disabled adults aged 18–64, and children age 18 and younger. The last group was newly eligible under SSI for payments based on their own blindness or disability and not, as was the case previously, because they were a member of a needy family.
The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, established by the Social Security Amendments of 1972 (Public Law 92-603), was designed to provide cash assistance to needy aged, blind, and disabled citizens, and noncitizens lawfully admitted for permanent residence or permanently residing under color of law. Since then, this means-tested program has undergone many legislative changes that affect the eligibility status of noncitizens. This article, presented in three parts, discusses the legislative history of noncitizen eligibility, and details relevant laws enacted since the program's inception; provides current data on the trends and changes of the noncitizen population; and describes the larger population of foreign-born SSI recipients, of which the noncitizens are a part. Data on the number of SSI recipients born abroad but who had become citizens before applying for SSI payments were not previously available. Analytical data are from the Supplemental Security Record (SSR) matched to the Social Security Number Identification (Numident) file.
Most persons under the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program or the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program receive the checks in their own name and make their own decisions as to the use of the funds. However, there has always been a portion of the beneficiary population who, for a variety of reasons, are not able to manage their benefits alone.
This note gives an overview of the representative payee program, including a program description and brief history, a "snapshot" of some characteristics of the population receiving Social Security benefits and SSI payments through a representative payee, recent trends in the number of persons with payees receiving such benefits or payments, and legislative and policy responses to these trends.
This note addresses concerns about the amounts of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments made to households where two or more recipients live together. Under current law these payments are not generally reduced. One of the concerns is that the SSI program may be providing income to households whose income exceeds an equitable standard, defined in terms of the poverty guidelines. This study measures the incidence of this happening by comparing unit incomes to the 1994 poverty guidelines.