Changing Stays? Duration of Supplemental Security Income Participation by First-Time Child Awardees and the Role of Continuing Disability Reviews

Changing Stays? Duration of Supplemental Security Income Participation by First-Time Child Awardees and the Role of Continuing Disability Reviews

Published: May 31, 2021
Publisher: Social Security Bulletin, vol. 81, no. 2
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This article provides new evidence of the changing role of the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program for low-income children since 1997. We use administrative records from the Social Security Administration to identify first-time 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. Therefore, SSI constitutes a larger part of the safety net than it did 20 years ago. However, we 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, had a major effect on length of program participation. This latter finding is especially important for considering future SSI program dynamics, given that the number of continuing disability reviews has risen substantially since 2015.

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