Geographic Variation in Social Security Disability Insurance Beneficiaries’ Mortality Rates

This project aims to document and understand how SSDI beneficiaries’ mortality rates vary across counties and states, both in absolute terms and relative to nonbeneficiaries in their communities. In addition to describing the geographic dispersion in mortality, we will document…

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The Impact of Affordable and Accessible Broadband on SSDI and SSI Receipt

We propose to causally estimate how SSI and SSDI receipt responded to a national program providing affordable broadband, access to discounted computer equipment, and digital literacy resources to low-income families. We will do so with geographic data on program availability…

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The House: Is it an Asset or a Liability?

This project will investigate rising housing debt and the capacity to sustain post-retirement consumption.  Housing debt may leave many households, especially women, minorities, and households with low socioeconomic status, with inadequate retirement resources.

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Equity Implications of the Rising Full Retirement Age and Social Security Communications: An Analysis of Past and Future Disparities in the Economic Security of Retirees

The Social Security Amendments of 1983 raised the Full Retirement Age (FRA), the age at which claimants receive an unreduced monthly benefit, from 65 to 67. However, this change was set to be gradually implemented, with the first increase from…

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The Lifetime Earnings Effects of the Social Security Student Benefit

In 1981, Congress voted to eliminate the “student benefit” of Social Security, which allowed for the continuation of child benefits past the age of 18 for those enrolled in schooling full-time. We compare the lifetime earnings of eligible children who…

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The Enduring Impacts of COVID-19 on Americans’ Economic and Retirement Security

This project builds on our previous work by using newly collected data to examine how Americans’ economic and retirement security have changed during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our analysis will examine (1) how the long duration…

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Social Security’s Role in Economic Security: Evidence and Insight from an Analysis of Multiprogram Participation

We estimate individual participation in 18 separate spending programs and construct measures of nonparticipation and density of participation (which we call multiprogram participation) by age, race, ethnicity, and gender groups. We then use regression analysis to predict non- and multiprogram…

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Understanding the Social Security Communication Needs of Hispanics with Limited English Language Proficiency

According to United States census data, there are approximately 20 million adults with limited English proficiency (LEP) in the country, of whom more than 65% are Spanish speakers. This study aims to provide initial insights into the Social Security communications…

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Mixed-methods Study on Work-disabled Adults Who Do Not Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits

Fewer than 50% of all American adults with work disabilities currently receive disability benefits, presenting a stark divergence between self-reported work-disability prevalence and disability awards. Yet, we know little about how work-disabled adults make their decisions about whether and when…

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Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Effects of COVID-19 on Job Separation and Financial Precarity

Drawing on Health and Retirement Study data collected in 2021, we will examine racial differences in the COVID-19 pandemic’s consequences on financial security. We hypothesize that, relative to their white counterparts, Black and Hispanic older workers were more likely to…

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