Understanding Participation in SSI

23 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2015

See all articles by Kathleen M. McGarry

Kathleen M. McGarry

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Robert F. Schoeni

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Survey Research Center

Date Written: January 2015

Abstract

The Supplemental Security Income program (SSI) provides a guaranteed income for the elderly. As such it can serve to mitigate any deleterious effects of reductions in Social Security benefits that might result from any Social Security reform. However, participation in SSI among qualified individuals has proven to be low. We show that this low participation rate, just over 50%, observed at the program’s inception has continued to today with little if any change. We also find that transfers from children are far larger among eligible non-participants suggesting that family assistance may offset the need for public assistance.

Keywords: Supplemental Security Income, SSI, Social Security reform, family assistance

Suggested Citation

McGarry, Kathleen M. and Schoeni, Robert F., Understanding Participation in SSI (January 2015). Michigan Retirement Research Center Working Paper WP 2015-319. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2599541 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2599541

Kathleen M. McGarry

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Robert F. Schoeni (Contact Author)

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Survey Research Center ( email )

Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bschoeni/

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