Supplemental Security Income: The New Federal Program for the Aged, Blind, and Disabled

Supplemental Security Income: The New Federal Program for the Aged, Blind, and Disabled

Supplemental Security Income: The New Federal Program for the Aged, Blind, and Disabled

Supplemental Security Income: The New Federal Program for the Aged, Blind, and Disabled

Excerpt

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program represents a landmark effort by the federal government to revamp its welfare programs for the aged, blind, and disabled. SSI was enacted in October 1972 as part of the 1972 amendments to the Social Security Act and became effective on January 1, 1974. One of its major purposes was to provide more equitable welfare payments lacing the myriad state-operated programs with a uniform nationwide program administered by the Social Security Administration. Another purpose was to provide the states with fiscal relief from mushrooming welfare costs.

Chapter 1 explains the principal features of the SSI program and compares SSI with welfare programs existing before 1974. Chapter 2 presents statistical information on the effect of SSI on the number of welfare recipients and the amount of financial assistance received. Chapter 3 analyzes the success of SSI in raising household income above the poverty threshold. Chapter 4 compares state welfare payments before and after the advent of SSI and examines the impact of SSI on the amount of federal welfare dollars received by the states. Chapter 5 reviews certain aspects of the administrative efficiency of SSI. Chapter 6 discusses the relationship between SSI and the social security system's Old Age, Survivors, Disability, and Health Insurance program (OASDHI). Chapter 7 considers the possible impact of some current welfare reform proposals on SSI.

Joan Curran provided research assistance in the preparation of this study.

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