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SSI Should Be Strengthened, Not Cut

March 27, 2014

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s misleading review of the safety net attacks Supplemental Security Income (SSI) — an important program that provides cash income to seniors, the blind, and people with severe and long-lasting...

Just the Facts on Disability Insurance

March 17, 2014

We’ve updated our primer on the Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) program, an integral part of Social Security that provides modest but vital benefits to workers who can no longer support themselves due to a severe and long-lasting...

Decoding Demographics’ Role in Disability Program’s Growth

January 30, 2014

The number of disabled workers collecting Disability Insurance (DI) benefits tripled from 2.9 million in 1980 to 8.9 million the end of 2013.  Some see this growth as evidence that the program is out of control.  But most of that growth stems from five demographic factors, as our new paper explains:

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Social Security Benefits Are Modest by International Standards

December 4, 2013

We’ve long emphasized that Social Security benefits are modest, averaging less than $1,300 a month (about $15,000 a year) for retirees and elderly widows.  They’re also low in relation to earnings, replacing just 41 percent of the median retiree’s earnings, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD)...

Social Security Administration Confirms 1.5 Percent COLA

October 30, 2013

The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced today that the 2014 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will be 1.5 percent, smack in the middle of the range that we estimated yesterday.

The taxable maximum —...

What to Expect From Wednesday’s 2014 COLA Announcement

October 29, 2013

The Labor Department will announce the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for September 2013 tomorrow — the last missing piece that’ll determine the January 2014 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in Social Security.  The department would normally have announced the CPI on October 16, but — like...

Social Security Keeps 22 Million Americans Out of Poverty

October 25, 2013

Social Security lifted 22 million people out of poverty in 2012, according to our updated analysis (with state-by-state data) of Census data.  This includes not just 15 million elderly Americans but also many younger people, including 1 million children who either received their own benefits as dependents of retired, disabled...

Policymakers Should Sift Facts on Disability Insurance Carefully

October 1, 2013

Critics continue to offer potentially misleading claims about the Disability Insurance (DI) program — a vital part of Social Security that pays modest benefits to people who can no longer do substantial work due to a severe medical impairment — and a recent Washington Post...

“Gini Index” From Census Confirms Rising Inequality Over Four Decades

September 19, 2013

As our statement on Tuesday’s Census Bureau report notes, a key measure of inequality known as the Gini index was tied for its highest level on record in 2012,...

The Economist Gets It Wrong on Disability Insurance

September 13, 2013

A recent article in the Economist took an uninformed — and unjustified — swipe at Disability Insurance (DI), the part of...

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