Interactions Between Social Security Reform and the Supplemental Security Income Program for the Aged

Interactions Between Social Security Reform and the Supplemental Security Income Program for the Aged

Abstract

Unlike most analyses of Social Security reforms, this paper explicitly considers interactions with the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. Using a microsimulation model, we examine reducing Social Security benefits by the percentage required to approach 75-year solvency. We then add options for attenuating the effects on low-income beneficiaries. In the simulated reforms, we compare benefit receipt patterns, poverty rates, and winners and losers in 2022. Substantial reforms are necessary for SSI to play a more effective income security role. Among the limited set of reforms we consider, Social Security minimum benefit plans would more effectively reduce poverty among low-income beneficiaries.

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