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Posts by Kathy Ruffing

For Most Americans, Retirement Accounts Are Paltry

October 9, 2020

Retirement accounts provide at best a modest supplement to Social Security, new Federal Reserve data show. A minority of mostly wealthy Americans have saved very large amounts — many times what middle- and low-income Americans have, if they own accounts at all — making Social Security...

Affluent Americans Are Much Likelier to Own Large Retirement Accounts

People Who Seek Disability Benefits Face Health, Economic Challenges

August 20, 2020

People who seek Social Security disability benefits face many financial, social, and health challenges, a recent study confirms, rebutting any notion that applicants who are denied benefits can shrug it off and return to work. As we mark the...

People Seeking Social Security Disability Benefits Are Older, Poorer, Sicker Than Rest of Population

Social Security Disability Insurance Still Shrinking

January 8, 2020

Applications and benefit awards for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) fell again in 2019, new data show, adding to the significant declines since 2010 (see graph). Total SSDI enrollment also has...

Disability Insurance Applications and Awards Have Fallen Significantly Since 2010 Peak

Denied Disability Applicants Fare Badly in the Labor Market

August 9, 2018

Older applicants who are denied Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits struggle in the labor market afterward, ...

Few Denied Social Security Disability Insurance Applicants Go Back to Work

Disability Insurance Greatly Boosts Women’s Financial Security

March 16, 2018

As the nation celebrates Women’s History Month, our new paper highlights an important source of financial security for women workers and their families:...

Nearly Equal Numbers of Men and Women Now Collect SSDI

SSI Doesn’t Explain Decline in Labor-Force Participation, Either

September 28, 2017

We recently explained why it’s wrong to blame Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) — which pays modest benefits to workers under age 66 who’ve experienced a severe, career-...

Small Changes in Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Receipt Don't Explain Declining Labor-Force Participation

Decline in Labor-Force Participation Not Due to Disability Programs

August 25, 2017

Labor-force participation — the share of adults 16 and older who are working or looking for work — peaked at just over 67 percent in 1996-2000 and has fallen since then. Some analysts...

Declining Labor-Force Participation and Rising Disability Receipt Have Affected Different Groups

4 Reasons Why Disability Insurance Is Especially Important to Less-Educated Workers

May 4, 2017

Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) — which pays modest but vital benefits to people with severe and long-lasting medical impairments who can no longer support themselves by working — is especially important to workers who’ve earned only a high-school diploma, or less (see graph)....

Disability Insurance (DI) Receipt is Highest Among Older Workers With Limited Education

U.S. Disability Benefits Modest by International Standards

November 1, 2016

U.S. spending on public disability benefits remains low by international standards, new figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) show (see graph).

As our chart book shows, the...

U.S. Spends Comparatively Little on Public Disability Benefits

Even Disability Recipients Who Recover Have Limited Work Capacity

July 14, 2016

Most Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) beneficiaries whose benefits stop because their medical condition has improved have little capacity for substantial and sustained work, a new study finds.  It’s further...