How Common is "Parking" Among Social Security Disability Insurance Beneficiaries? Evidence from the 1999 Change in the Earnings Level of Substantial Gainful Activity

How Common is "Parking" Among Social Security Disability Insurance Beneficiaries? Evidence from the 1999 Change in the Earnings Level of Substantial Gainful Activity

Published: Nov 30, 2011
Publisher: Social Security Bulletin, vol. 71, no. 4
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Authors

David C. Stapleton

Jae Song

Anecdotal evidence suggests that Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries intentionally restrain, or “park,” their earnings at a level below substantial gainful activity to retain cash benefits. But empirical evidence documenting such behavior is scant. This article in Social Security Bulletin looks at the impact of the 1999 change in the substantial gainful activity earnings level on two cohorts of SSDI beneficiaries—one affected by the change and one not. The results show that in a typical month from 2002 through 2006, between 0.2 to 0.4 percent of all SSDI beneficiaries were parked below the substantial gainful activity level in a typical month.

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