Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 82, No. 4
Using 2021 survey results from the nationally representative panel of Understanding America Study respondents, the authors of this article explore public knowledge of various aspects of the Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income programs. They present descriptive statistics that highlight different levels of program knowledge from one program aspect to another as well as across respondent characteristics such as age, race/ethnicity, educational attainment, income, and presence of a long-term disabling condition. Program aspects covered in the survey questions include financial and medical eligibility for program benefits, application and disability determination procedures, and typical processing times and benefit amounts.
This study examines the employment status of older Americans in the months immediately before and after the peak COVID-19 lockdown in April 2020. The authors construct longitudinal employment data from 2019–2020 Current Population Surveys. To account for seasonal fluctuations in employment and retirement patterns that are not unique to the COVID-19 recession, they implement a difference-in-differences analysis using multinomial logistic regressions. They find that the onset of the pandemic immediately and adversely affected all workers, but the extent of the employment disruptions varied by age group, sex, and whether the worker has a college degree. Reemployment patterns after the peak lockdown month also varied but did not simply reverse the earlier patterns. The findings imply that the employment effects of the COVID-19 recession are substantially different from those of previous recessions.