Participation of the Aged in SSI
The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is the primary escape route from poverty for a significant number of the aged poor; yet approximately 50 percent of all those eligible are not enrolled. Analyses of data from the March 1975 Current Population Survey, reported here, reveal that individual participation probabilities are positively related to the level of available benefits. Other factors such as limited information, stigma, and the bureaucratic complexities of the enrollment process appear to be significant barriers to participation. Efforts to increase participation in SSI must concentrate on raising available benefits and reducing the barriers to participation.
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