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The New Safety Net? Supplemental Security Income after Welfare Reform

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Abstract

Over the past twenty years, the Supplemental Security Income Program (SSI), which provides federally-funded income support for disabled individuals, has become one of the most important means-tested cash aid programs in the United States. This growth has been accompanied by growing concerns about the nature of the program and its role as a "new safety net." In this paper, I use state panel data, exploiting variation both across states and over time, to examine the relationship between welfare reform and SSI disabled caseloads for both adults and children. I also examine whether the relationship between SSI participation and other factors (economic, health-related, and political) has been fundamentally altered in the aftermath of welfare reform. Results suggest that welfare reform significantly increased SSI participation, and changed the relationship between other conditions and SSI participation. Notably, the SSI program has become more responsive to business cycles for women and children since welfare reform.

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  • Lucie Schmidt, 2013. "The New Safety Net? Supplemental Security Income after Welfare Reform," Department of Economics Working Papers 2013-07, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  • Handle: RePEc:wil:wileco:2013-07
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    Cited by:

    1. Marianne Bitler & Hilary Hoynes, 2016. "The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same? The Safety Net and Poverty in the Great Recession," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S1), pages 403-444.
    2. Slack, Kristen S. & Kim, Bomi & Yang, Mi-Youn & Berger, Lawrence M., 2014. "The economic safety net for low-income families with children," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 213-219.
    3. Austin Nichols & Lucie Schmidt & Purvi Sevak, 2014. "Economic Conditions and SSI Applications," Working Papers wp318, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.

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