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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...

Disability Benefits Are Hard to Get — Even in Recessions

September 3, 2013

We’ve noted before that economic downturns generally spur more applications for Social Security disability benefits — but have a much smaller effect on awards.  (See graph.)  That usual pattern is based on...

Happy 78th Birthday, Social Security!

August 14, 2013

Social Security marks its 78th birthday today.  This highly successful program pays benefits to 57 million Americans.  It’s the single most important source of income for its elderly beneficiaries, contributing on average two-thirds of income...

Ways and Means Mum on Revenue Increases for Social Security in Bowles-Simpson, Domenici-Rivlin

August 7, 2013

The House Ways and Means Committee has invited members of the public to comment on the Bowles-Simpson and Domenici-Rivlin plans to restore solvency to Social Security.

But there’s a...

U.S. Seniors Are a Hard-Working Bunch

July 17, 2013

Financial pressures are leading many European Union (EU) countries to encourage older workers to remain in the labor force, the Social Security Administration (SSA) reports.  By way of comparison, U.S. seniors are more likely to be in the workforce than their peers in almost every other developed country....

Disability Insurance Provides Vital Benefits to Vulnerable Workers

July 15, 2013

A new Urban Institute report on the economic status and demographic characteristics of Disability Insurance (DI) beneficiaries echoes what we’ve said before in our report and testimony: ...