Welfare Reform and Immigrant Participation in the SSI Program

Published: 2002
Project ID: UM02-C1


We examine the effect of the 1996 welfare reform legislation on participation in the Supplemental Security income (SSI) program by non-citizen immigrants. Although none of the non-citizens on the SSI rolls before welfare reform lost eligibility, the potential exists for future impacts on the SSI caseload and the well being of recent immigrants. Using Social Security administrative data from the Continuous Work History Sample matched to data on SSI participation, we estimate compositional and hazard models of SSI participation before and after welfare reform. We use data on Social Security benefits to explore interactions between SSI and Social Security among immigrants.