Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 60, No. 1

(released January 1997)
by Evan S. Schechter

This article uses the New Beneficiary Followup Survey to describe the characteristics of beneficiaries who work after award of benefits and examines some aspects of the process by which work attempts come about. It also addresses questions of why beneficiaries work, how postentitlement jobs differ from those held prior to award of benefits, and the relationship between health status and work.

Most of the beneficiaries who worked did so for reasons of financial need and worked without attributing this decision to an improvement in their health. Those most likely to work were young and had higher levels of schooling. The likelihood of working was the same across the range of disabling health conditions. Many different approaches led to job offers, and most beneficiaries who worked did not return to their previous employer. The first postentitlement job had less exertion, fewer hours, and lower pay than did the job held immediately prior to award.

by Satya Kochhar and Charles G. Scott

This article updates one that appeared in the Bulletin in July 1990. It describes living arrangements of persons receiving payments under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program from October 1994 through September 1995. The data were taken from the Quality Assurance review conducted by the Social Security Administration (SSA). This procedure is used by SSA to determine the frequency and causes of incorrect determinations of eligibility and payment amounts.

It is difficult to describe the living arrangement for the "typical" recipient. Nevertheless, some interesting patterns emerge in an analysis of the data. About 59 percent (owners and renters combined) of the 6.3 million SSI recipients lived in their own households. Approximately 32 percent of them shared a living arrangement with someone else and about 5 percent of the recipients lived in an institution.

Of those SSI recipients living in households, about 36 percent lived alone. Less then 13 percent lived with only their spouses or with only their spouses and minor children. Approximately 11 percent of those in households were child recipients living with parents. An additional 15 percent of the SSI recipients lived in households with only other related adults (other than a spouse or parents).

by Valerie Leiter, Michelle L. Wood, and Stephen H. Bell

This article presents the results of the process analysis of the evaluation of the Project NetWork demonstration, a Federal demonstration undertaken by the Social Security Administration (SSA) in 1991 to test alternative methods of providing rehabilitation and employment services to SSA's Disability Insurance beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income disabled and blind applicants and recipients. The major findings are: (1) from an operational standpoint, it is feasible to expand access to vocational rehabilitation (VR) services to a broad spectrum of SSA beneficiaries, and (2) roughly similar results are achieved, in terms of client intake and provision of services, when case management services are provided by SSA staff, contracted out to State VR agencies, or contracted with private VR providers. Later evaluation reports will trace demonstration impacts on earnings and disability benefits and report the overall benefits and costs of return-to-work services for this population.