Research & Analysis by Michael Levere

What Is the Relationship Between Socioeconomic Deprivation and Child Supplemental Security Income Participation?
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 82, No. 2 (released May 2022)
by Michael Levere, David C. Wittenburg, and Jeffrey Hemmeter

This article examines how socioeconomic deprivation relates to child Supplemental Security Income (SSI) participation in local areas. The authors construct a deprivation index that reflects a range of socioeconomic factors. They find that local areas with higher deprivation generally have higher levels of child SSI participation, but there is substantial geographic variation. To explore this variation, the authors assess the demographic and economic factors associated with the deviation between observed child SSI participation and a level of participation predicted by the deprivation index. Local areas in which child SSI participation is substantially lower than the deprivation index predicts might be promising targets for outreach to better inform families about the SSI program. By measuring the deviation between predicted and actual SSI participation at the census tract level, outreach efforts can pinpoint the precise locations where they might plausibly have the greatest effect.

Changing Stays? Duration of Supplemental Security Income Participation by First-Time Child Awardees and the Role of Continuing Disability Reviews
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 81, No. 2 (released May 2021)
by Jeffrey Hemmeter, Michael Levere, Pragya Singh, and David C. Wittenburg

This article provides new evidence of the changing role of the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program for low-income children since 1997. The authors use administrative records from the Social Security Administration to identify new SSI awardees and track their histories in SSI and in the Social Security Disability Insurance program. SSI participation lasted much longer for 2007 and 2012 awardees than for their 1997 counterparts. However, the authors also find that the volume of continuing disability reviews, which determine continuation or cessation of SSI eligibility and were conducted more frequently for 1997 awardees than for subsequent cohorts, strongly affects length of program participation. The trend toward longer periods of program participation therefore might not continue, given that the number of continuing disability reviews has risen substantially since 2015.