Research & Analysis by Teran Martin

Changes in the Demographic and Economic Characteristics of SSI and DI Beneficiaries Between 1984 and 1999
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 65, No. 2 (released August 2004)
by Teran Martin and Paul S. Davies

During the past 20 years, legislative and judicial actions have affected Supplemental Security Income and Disability Insurance beneficiaries. This article compares important changes in demographics, income sources and amounts, and poverty status of beneficiaries of both programs between 1984 and 1999, using data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation matched to administrative data from the Social Security Administration. The average age of both groups has decreased, while their education levels increased. In 1999, Disability Insurance beneficiaries and their families relied less on Social Security, while their poverty rate remained fairly constant. The Supplemental Security Income population had a lower poverty rate, while beneficiaries were slightly more reliant on Social Security for personal income.