Health, Health Care Utilization and Age at Initial Social Security Benefit Claiming

Published: 2013
Project ID: UM13-13


This project uses new data and methods to compare the health status of Social Security beneficiaries. We profile the health of Social Security beneficiaries who claim benefits at different ages (at 62, between 62 and Normal Retirement Age, at NRA) in order to help inform discussions of the potential impact of increases in the Social Security early eligibility age. We also document the rate at which DI beneficiaries receive ongoing treatment for the diagnosis associated with their DI benefits and compare this rate to that of non-recipients who are similar in terms of diagnosis, age, and other characteristics. We focus on specific diagnoses (e.g. depression) that are common among DI beneficiaries. Data are from the Health and Retirement Study linked to Medicare claims data and SSA Form 831 data containing information on the diagnosis associated with DI eligibility.