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Interactions Between Social Security Reform and the Supplemental Security Income Program for the Age


  • Paul S. Davies
  • Melissa M. Favreault


Most analyses of Social Security reforms ignore interactions with the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. We explicitly consider such interactions using a microsimulation model. The basic reform we examine reduces Social Security benefits by the percentage required to approach 75-year solvency. We then add options for attenuating the effects on low-income beneficiaries, including a minimum Social Security benefit and liberalization of three SSI program parameters. Focusing on the elderly in 2022, we compare the simulated reforms with respect to benefit receipt patterns, poverty rates, and winners and losers. Social Security beneficiaries turn to the SSI program for income support in response to Social Security benefit reductions, but substantial SSI reforms are necessary if the SSI program is to play a more effective income security role. Among the limited set of reform options we consider, Social Security minimum benefit plans would be more effective in reducing poverty among low-income beneficiaries.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul S. Davies & Melissa M. Favreault, 2004. "Interactions Between Social Security Reform and the Supplemental Security Income Program for the Age," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2004-02, Center for Retirement Research, revised Feb 2004.
  • Handle: RePEc:crr:crrwps:wp2004-02

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    Cited by:

    1. Agneta Stark & Nancy Folbre & Lois Shaw & Timothy Smeeding & Susanna Sandstrom & Lois Shaw & Sunhwa Lee & Kyunghee Chung, 2005. "Poverty And Income Maintenance In Old Age: A Cross-National View Of Low Income Older Women / Growing Old In The Us: Gender And Income Adequacy / Gender And Aging In South Korea," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 163-197.
    2. James Williamson & Timothy Smeeding, 2004. "Sliding into Poverty? Cross-National Patterns of Income Source Change and Income Decay in Old Age," LIS Working papers 388, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    3. Madonna Harrington Meyer & Douglas Wolf & Christine Himes, 2005. "Linking Benefits To Marital Status: Race And Social Security In The Us," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 145-162.

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