Supplemental Security Income and the Transition to Adulthood in the United States: State Variations in Outcomes Following the Age-18 Redetermination

Publisher: Social Service Review, vol. 91, no. 1
Mar 01, 2017
Authors
Jeffrey Hemmeter, David R. Mann, and David C. Wittenburg

Key Findings:

  • State cessation rates ranged from 20 to 47 percent.
  • Ceased recipients had higher employment rates and lower rates of SSI receipt than continued recipients.
  • Continued recipients who lived in states with higher employment rates also had higher Disability Insurance benefit receipt rates than those who lived in states with lower employment rates.

Policy makers have raised concerns about the outcomes of former child Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients following the redetermination of eligibility at age 18 using an adult disability definition. We use Social Security administrative data to track state-level benefit receipt and employment outcomes of all former child SSI recipients who received an age-18 redetermination from 1998 through 2006, through age 24. We find that (1) state cessation rates ranged from 20 to 47 percent, (2) ceased recipients had higher employment rates and lower rates of SSI receipt than continued recipients, and (3) continued recipients who lived in states with higher employment rates also had higher Disability Insurance benefit receipt rates than those who lived in states with lower employment rates. The findings raise questions about the state-level variation in SSIs role in the overall safety net and the variations in options available to former child SSI recipients following the age-18 redetermination.

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David Wittenburg
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David Mann
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