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Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States$
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Robert A. Moffitt

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780226533568

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226533575.001.0001

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The Supplemental Security Income Program

The Supplemental Security Income Program

(p.79) 2 The Supplemental Security Income Program
Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States

Mary C. Daly

Richard V. Burkhauser

University of Chicago Press

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a nationwide federal assistance program for aged, blind, and disabled individuals with low incomes. The SSI program was enacted in 1972 and began paying benefits in 1974. Since that time, SSI has grown to become the largest federal means-tested cash assistance program in the United States, with a caseload dominated by children and working-age adults with disabilities. This chapter provides the basic information necessary for SSI policymakers to make informed choices about its future, and is organized as follows. Section 2.2 reviews the program's history and describes the structure and evolution of SSI program rules. Section 2.3 provides expenditure, caseload, and program recipient statistics. Section 2.4 summarizes the primary economic issues related to the SSI program. Section 2.5 reviews the empirical evidence regarding these issues, and Section 2.6 summarizes the findings.

Keywords:   federal assistance program, SSI program, disabled, cash assistance program

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