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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Social Security Administration: Workloads, Resources, and Service Delivery
This report provides an overview of SSA's workloads, resources, and service delivery since FY1996, the first full fiscal year in which SSA became an independent agency. It also covers issues for Congress, focusing on recommendations made by the independent SSAB, Government Accountability Office, SSA's Office of the Inspector General, and the National Research Council. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795505/
Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress
This report discusses the Civil Service Retirement Act of 1920 (P.L. 66-215) that established a pension system for federal employees in the executive branch of government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795669/
Social Security: The Cost-of-Living Adjustment in January 2005
This report discusses how the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security benefits are determined. The 2.7% COLA payable in January 2005 was triggered by the rise in the CPI-W (Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers) from the third quarter of 2003 to the third quarter of 2004. This COLA triggers identical percentage increases in Supplemental Security Income (SSI), veterans' pensions, and railroad retirement benefits, and causes other changes in the Social Security program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795651/
Social Security: Calculation and History of Taxing Benefits
This report discusses the Social Security system that provides monthly benefits to qualified retirees, disabled workers, and their spouses and dependents. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795574/
Social Security: Brief Facts and Statistics
This report provides brief facts and statistics about Social Security that are frequently requested by Members of Congress and their staffs. It includes information about Social Security taxes and benefits, the program's impact on recipients' incomes, federal tax receipts, federal spending and the economy, administrative information, and selected facts about Medicare. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795806/
Disability Evaluation of Military Servicemembers
This report is intended as a primer to describe disability evaluation in general, including evaluations used by the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), in addition to civilian evaluations used by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and by workers' compensation programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795383/
Social Security: The Windfall Benefit Provision
This report discusses the windfall elimination provision, which reduces the Social Security benefits of workers who also have pension benefits from employment not covered by Social Security. Its purpose is to remove an advantage these workers would otherwise receive because of Social Security's benefit formula that favors workers with smaller amounts of Social Security-covered career earnings. Opponents contend that the provision is basically inaccurate and often unfair. In both the 107th and 108th Congresses, five bills have been introduced that would modify or repeal the provision. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795359/
Social Security Notch Issue: A Summary
This report discusses recent attempts at legislative action regarding changes to the computation of benefits under Social Security Amendments of 1977 (P.L. 95-216), which directly affected retirees born in the 5- to 15-year period after 1916. These persons fall in the "notch" between previous Social Security legislation and those affected by the amendments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795458/
Potential Impact of No Social Security COLA on Medicare Part B Premiums in 2016
This report provides an overview of Medicare Part B premiums, the relationship between the Social Security cost-of-living increase (COLA) and Part B premiums, and the potential impact of a projected 0% Social Security COLA in 2016 on Medicare premiums, based on recent projections by the Medicare Trustees. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795920/
The Social Security Number: Legal Developments Affecting Its Collection, Disclosure, and Confidentiality
This report provides a comprehensive list of federal developments affecting use of social security numbers (SSNs), from 1935 to the present. This list includes federal statutes regulating the collection and disclosure of SSNs, as well as specific authorizations for the use of SSNs, confidentiality provisions, and criminal provisions relating to SSN misuse. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc770568/
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Allocation of Scarce Medical Resources During a Pandemic
This report examines selected proposed priorities in light of the nondiscrimination provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc770578/
Disability Evaluation of Military Servicemembers
This report is intended as a primer to describe disability evaluation in general, including evaluations used by the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), in addition to civilian evaluations used by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and by workers' compensation programs. It also describes the DOD and VA disability rating processes in greater detail as well as recent congressional and executive actions and recommendations regarding DOD and VA disability evaluations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743610/
Social Security Provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
This report discusses certain provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) that pertain to Social Security. The ARRA as passed by the House of Representatives and Senate provides over $1 billion in supplemental appropriations to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and provides for a onetime $250 payment to all SSI recipients and adult Social Security beneficiaries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743385/
Retirement Savings and Household Wealth in 2007
This report discusses various issues that impact the retirement income of Americans. About half of all workers in the United States participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan of some kind, a proportion that has remained relatively stable over the past thirty years. Because the majority of assets held in retirement accounts are invested in stocks, trends in stock prices have a significant impact on households' retirement account balances. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700850/
How Would Medicare Part B Premiums Be Affected If There Is No Social Security COLA?
This report outlines how Medicare Part B premiums and Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) are calculated, and how the COLA affects Part B premiums. The report also examines a scenario in which Medicare Part B premiums rise but Social Security benefits do not. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700852/
The Social Security Retirement Age: In Brief
This report discusses the two important ages that may affect a worker's plans to claim Social Security retired-worker benefits. Workers may claim full Social Security benefits at the full retirement age (FRA), which is rising gradually to age 67 for workers who were born in 1960 or later. Retired workers may claim benefits as early as age 62, which is known as the early eligibility age (EEA). Social Security benefits are reduced, however, for every month that retired worker benefits are claimed before the FRA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689272/
Income and Poverty Among Older Americans in 2007
This report describes the income and poverty status of the 36.8 million Americans age 65 and older who were living in households in 2007. The report also describes how the proportion of total income received from each source differs between high-income individuals and households and low-income individuals and households. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689291/
Income and Poverty Among Older Americans in 2008
This report describes the sources and amounts of income received by the 37.8 million Americans aged 65 and older who lived in non-institutional settings in 2008. The report also describes how the proportion of total income received from each source differs between high-income individuals and households and low-income individuals and households. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689422/
Social Security and Same-Sex Marriage: Frequently Asked Questions
This report addresses a number of frequently asked questions regarding the eligibility of same-sex couples for Social Security benefits and the interpretation of state marriage laws. These questions include those relating to general eligibility and the application process for same-sex couples and those in other types of legal relationships. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627120/
Social Security's Effect on Child Poverty
This report discusses Social Security (SS), which plays an important role in reducing poverty among the elderly and children. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627103/
Health Care-Related Expiring Provisions, First Session of the 114th Congress
This report provides a list of selected health-related programs and activities under specified titles of the Social Security Act (SSA). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627239/
The Impact of Medicare Premiums on Social Security Beneficiaries
This report shows how the deduction of Medicare Part B and Part D premiums affects Social Security beneficiaries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627041/
Uncertainty in Financial Projections of Social Security
The financial outlook for Social Security has been the subject of much analysis and debate. This report briefly discusses a report from the Social Security Board of Trustees which contains the federal government's official financial projections for the Social Security program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc626889/
Social Security Administration (SSA): Budget Issues
This report provides an overview of the Social Security Administration's mandatory spending but largely focuses on discretionary appropriations for the agency's administrative expenses. The size of the annual appropriations for administrative expenses affects the agency's ability to effectively administer the SSA's benefit programs and conduct program integrity activities designed to ensure that only eligible persons receive federal benefits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505424/
Community Services Block Grants (CSBG): Background and Funding
This report provides information on the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), which is the modern-day program that continues to fund this network of local antipoverty agencies. The report also describes several smaller related programs that are administered by the same federal office that currently oversees the CSBG. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503416/
How Social Security Benefits Are Computed: In Brief
This report discusses how Social Security benefits are currently computed, including information about eligibility, earnings, cost-of-living adjustments, factors that can affect benefit levels, and benefits for dependents. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501927/
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Reform: An Overview of Proposals to Manage the Growth in the SSDI Rolls
This report provides background information on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Also, this report provides an overview of proposals to manage the long-term growth in the SSDI rolls. Most of the proposals focus on reducing the inflow (enrollment) of new beneficiaries into the program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501537/
Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress
This report discusses the Civil Service Retirement Act of 1920 (P.L. 66-215) that established a pension system for federal employees in the executive branch of government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491426/
Disability Benefits Available Under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Veterans Disability Compensation (VDC) Programs
This report seeks to clarify why one group of individuals with disabilities may be eligible for benefits under Veteran's Disability Compensation (VDC), but ineligible for benefits under Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) (and vice versa), through a description and comparison of several distinguishing characteristics of the SSDI and VDC programs. This report concludes with a discussion of the challenges facing the administration of both programs, including processing delays for pending claims and appeals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491464/
Social Security: Cost-of-Living Adjustments
To compensate for the effects of inflation, Social Security recipients usually receive an annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). Benefits will be increased by 1.7% in 2015, following an increase of 1.5% in 2014. This report discusses how the COLA is determined. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491378/
Social Security: Calculation and History of Taxing Benefits
This report discusses the calculations that go into taxing Social Security benefits, which prior to 1984 were exempt from taxation but have since been taxed at gradually increasing levels. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463427/
Social Security Reform: Legal Analysis of Social Security Benefit Entitlement Issues
This report addresses selected legal issues which may be raised regarding entitlement to Social Security benefits as Congress considers possible changes to the Social Security program, and in view of projected long-range shortfalls in the Social Security Trust Funds. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463036/
Primer on Disability Benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
This report provides an overview on federal disability benefits programs including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which is an insurance program that provides benefits to individuals who have paid into the system and meet certain minimum work requirements, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is a means-tested program that does not have work or contribution requirements, but restricts benefits to those who meet certain financial eligibility criteria. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462061/
Social Security: The Lump-Sum Death Benefit
This report provides a brief description of the Lump-Sum Death Benefit and discusses the number of benefit payments and total spending. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462588/
Fact Sheet: The Social Security Retirement Age
This report discusses the two important ages that may affect a worker's plans to claim Social Security retired-worker benefits. Workers may claim full Social Security benefits at the full retirement age (FRA), which is rising gradually to age 67 for workers who were born in 1960 or later. Retired workers may claim benefits as early as age 62, which is known as the early eligibility age (EEA). Social Security benefits are reduced, however, for every month that retired worker benefits are claimed before the FRA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462632/
Social Security: Trust Fund Investment Practices
This report describes Social Security trust fund investment practices under current law. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461980/
Social Security Reform: Legal Analysis of Social Security Benefit Entitlement Issues
This report addresses selected legal issues that may be raised regarding entitlement to Social Security benefits as Congress considers possible changes to the Social Security program in view of projected long-range shortfalls in the Social Security Trust Funds. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463125/
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): The Five-Month Waiting Period for Benefits
This report explains the five-month waiting period for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and its legislative history. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is authorized by Title II of the Social Security Act and provides income replacement for eligible individuals who are unable to work due to a longterm injury or illness that is expected to last at least one year or result in death. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463277/
Inflation-Indexing Elements in Federal Entitlement Programs
This report identifies key indexing elements in major federal entitlement programs under current law and presents the information in a summary table. The report provides a brief description of the measures of consumer price change used to index various elements of these programs under current law, as well as the alternative measure of consumer price change (the Chained CPI-U) that has been proposed for computing Social Security cost-of-living-adjustments (COLAs) and making inflation adjustments to other federal programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462438/
Expediting the Return to Work: Approaches in the Unemployment Compensation Program
This report examines trends in the duration of unemployment benefits and then reviews a wide range of approaches for speeding the return to work. The report emphasizes measures that have recently been considered by lawmakers or have been tried on an experimental basis, particularly if evaluations of their impacts on duration of Unemployment Compensation (UC) benefit receipt are available. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462478/
Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out?
This report explains what the Social Security trust funds are and how they work. It describes the historical operations of the trust funds and the Social Security trustees' projections of future operations. It explains what could happen if Congress allowed the trust funds to run out. It also analyzes two scenarios that assume Congress waits until the moment of insolvency to act, showing the magnitude of benefit cuts or tax increases needed and how such changes would affect beneficiaries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463289/
Community Services Block Grants (CSBG): Background and Funding
This report looks at the purpose and background of Community Services Block Grants (CSBG), which provide federal funds to states, territories, and tribes for distribution to local agencies to support a wide range of community-based activities to reduce poverty. It includes program data, funding activity for fiscal years 2013 and 2014, and proposals for FY2015. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463227/
Social Security Administration (SSA): Budget Issues
This report provides an overview of the SSA's mandatory spending but largely focuses on discretionary appropriations for the agency's administrative expenses. The size of the annual appropriations for administrative expenses affects the agency's ability to effectively administer the SSA's benefit programs as well as conduct program integrity activities designed to ensure that only eligible persons receive federal benefits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461936/
Social Security: The Trust Fund
This report covers how the Social Security program is financed and how the Social Security trust fund works. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461903/
Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress
This report discusses the Civil Service Retirement Act of 1920 (P.L. 66-215) that established a pension system for federal employees in the executive branch of government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332971/
Social Security: Minimum Benefits
This report explains how the Special Minimum Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) functions under current law and presents arguments for and against expanding it. It then discusses criteria for evaluating proposals for change and describes some specific options for increasing benefits paid to people with low earnings or low income digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332973/
Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress
This report discusses the Civil Service Retirement Act of 1920 (P.L. 66-215) that established a pension system for federal employees in the executive branch of government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332915/
How Social Security Benefits Are Computed: In Brief
This report discusses how Social Security benefits are currently computed, including information about eligibility, earnings, cost-of-living adjustments, factors that can affect benefit levels, and benefits for dependents. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc306533/
Community Services Block Grants (CSBG): Background and Funding
This report looks at the purpose and background of Community Services Block Grants (CSBG), which provide federal funds to states, territories, and tribes for distribution to local agencies to support a wide range of community-based activities to reduce poverty. It includes program data, funding activity for fiscal years 2013 and 2014, and proposals for FY2015. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc306551/
Social Security: The Government Pension Offset (GPO)
This report discusses the social security benefits and the spousal benefits of individuals who are not financially dependent on their spouses because they receive benefits based on their own work records. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc287951/
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