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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Social Security and the Federal Budget: What Does Social Security's Being "Off Budget" Mean?
This report discusses social security and its place in the federal budget. As a result of a series of laws enacted in 1983, 1985 and 1990, Social Security is considered to be "off budget" for federal budget purposes. While the meaning of this might seem obvious--that Social Security is not to be considered as part of the federal budget--many people are confused by the continued use of aggregate budget figures that include Social Security's receipts and expenditures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824792/
Social Security Reform: How Much of a Role Could Personal Retirement Accounts Play?
This report illustrates the potential accumulations of personal savings accounts intended for retirement savings, given a range of possible contribution amounts and interest rates. It is intended to provide information about how to evaluate the possible role of personal accounts in the debate on Social Security reform. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824738/
Community Services Block Grants (CSBG): Background and Funding
This report provides information on the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), which funds a network of local antipoverty agencies. It begins with background information on the CSBG and related activities, discusses a proposal pending in Congress to reauthorize CSBG and related activities, summarizes a new "Upward Mobility Project" initiative of the Obama Administration, and discusses current and recent funding activities affecting the CSBG. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824743/
Retirement Savings and Household Wealth in 2000: Analysis of Census Bureau Data
This report examines recent trends in retirement saving and the policy implications. The aging of the American population and the impending retirement of the "baby boom" will place significant strains over the next several decades on both Social Security and on retirees' own financial resources. With continued increases in average life expectancies, retirees in the 21st century will have to stretch their savings and other assets over longer periods of retirement than were experienced by their parents and grandparents. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824473/
The Government's Long-Term Fiscal Shortfall: How Much Is Attributable to Social Security?
This report discusses social security in the context of the federal budget. One rationale given for Social Security reform is the large long-term fiscal shortfall that Social Security is projected to face. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824508/
Social Security, Saving, and the Economy
This report examines the determinants of household saving, how household saving may be affected by Social Security, and the potential effects of possible changes in Social Security. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824532/
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. It describes how increases in Social Security benefits and Medicare premiums are calculated under current law and explains the circumstances under which Social Security beneficiaries are held harmless for increases in the standard Part B premium, as well as the premium assistance available to low-income beneficiaries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822562/
Social Security Retirement Earnings Test: How Earnings Affect Benefits
Social Security benefits received before a person attains full retirement age (FRA) are subject to an actuarial reduction for early retirement and also may be reduced by the Social Security Retirement Earnings Test (RET) if the beneficiary has earnings that exceed an annual threshold. This report explains how the RET is applied under current law and provides detailed benefit examples to show how the RET affects both the worker beneficiary and any family members (auxiliary beneficiaries) who receive benefits based on the worker beneficiary’s record. The report points out features of the RET that are not widely known or understood, such as the recomputation of benefits when a beneficiary attains FRA to adjust (increase) benefits to take into account months for which no benefit or a partial benefit was paid as a result of the RET. Finally, the report discusses policy issues related to the RET, including recent research on the effect of the RET on work effort and the decision to claim Social Security benefits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc812981/
Social Security Retirement Earnings Test: How Earnings Affect Benefits
Social Security benefits received before a person attains full retirement age (FRA) are subject to an actuarial reduction for early retirement and also may be reduced by the Social Security Retirement Earnings Test (RET) if the beneficiary has earnings that exceed an annual threshold. This report explains how the RET is applied under current law and provides detailed benefit examples to show how the RET affects both the worker beneficiary and any family members (auxiliary beneficiaries) who receive benefits based on the worker beneficiary’s record. The report points out features of the RET that are not widely known or understood, such as the recomputation of benefits when a beneficiary attains FRA to adjust (increase) benefits to take into account months for which no benefit or a partial benefit was paid as a result of the RET. Finally, the report discusses policy issues related to the RET, including recent research on the effect of the RET on work effort and the decision to claim Social Security benefits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc806857/
Social Security Retirement Earnings Test: How Earnings Affect Benefits
Social Security benefits received before a person attains full retirement age (FRA) are subject to an actuarial reduction for early retirement and also may be reduced by the Social Security Retirement Earnings Test (RET) if the beneficiary has earnings that exceed an annual threshold. This report explains how the RET is applied under current law and provides detailed benefit examples to show how the RET affects both the worker beneficiary and any family members (auxiliary beneficiaries) who receive benefits based on the worker beneficiary’s record. The report points out features of the RET that are not widely known or understood, such as the recomputation of benefits when a beneficiary attains FRA to adjust (increase) benefits to take into account months for which no benefit or a partial benefit was paid as a result of the RET. Finally, the report discusses policy issues related to the RET, including recent research on the effect of the RET on work effort and the decision to claim Social Security benefits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820839/
Social Security Administration: Administrative Budget Issues
The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers the Social Security program (Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance, or OASDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, and provides administrative support to Medicare and several other federal programs. Total SSA spending in FY2007 was about $624 billion, about 99% of which was mandatory spending on benefit payments. This report focuses on SSA’s spending for administrative expenses, which is discretionary and amounts to about 1% of SSA’s total spending. This funding is provided in the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820858/
Social Security Administration: Administrative Budget Issues
The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers the Social Security program (Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance, or OASDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, and provides administrative support to Medicare and several other federal programs. Total SSA spending in FY2006 was about $597 billion, 98% of which was mandatory spending on benefit payments. This report focuses on SSA’s spending for administrative expenses, which is discretionary and amounts to 2% of SSA’s total spending. This funding is provided in the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc808292/
Social Security Administration: Administrative Budget Issues
The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers the Social Security program (Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance, or OASDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, and provides administrative support to Medicare and several other federal programs. Total SSA spending in FY2008 was about $658 billion, about 99% of which was mandatory spending on benefit payments. This report focuses on SSA’s administrative spending, which is discretionary and amounts to about 1% of SSA’s total spending. This funding is provided in the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc814822/
Social Security Administration: Administrative Budget Issues
The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers the Social Security program (Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance, or OASDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, and provides administrative support to Medicare and several other federal programs. Total SSA spending in FY2008 was about $658 billion, about 99% of which was mandatory spending on benefit payments. This report focuses on SSA’s administrative spending, which is discretionary and amounts to about 1% of SSA’s total spending. This funding is provided in the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc817843/
Social Security Administration: Administrative Budget Issues
The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers the Social Security program (Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance, or OASDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, and provides administrative support to Medicare and several other federal programs. Total SSA spending in FY2007 was about $624 billion, about 99% of which was mandatory spending on benefit payments. This report focuses on SSA’s spending for administrative expenses, which is discretionary and amounts to about 1% of SSA’s total spending. This funding is provided in the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc812806/
Social Security Administration: Administrative Budget Issues
The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers the Social Security program (Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance, or OASDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, and provides administrative support to Medicare and several other federal programs. Total SSA spending in FY2006 was about $597 billion, 98% of which was mandatory spending on benefit payments. This report focuses on SSA’s spending for administrative expenses, which is discretionary and amounts to 2% of SSA’s total spending. This funding is provided in the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc806561/
Child Welfare: Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits for Children in Foster Care
This report begins with a discussion of the foster care system and the Social Security benefits available to eligible children, including those in foster care. It then describes the role of representative payees and their responsibilities. The report provides data on the use of Social Security benefits to reimburse states for child welfare, and includes a discussion of the Keffeler decision. Finally, the report concludes with proposals supported by some advocates to change the current practice of using SSI and other Social Security benefits to fund foster care. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc819262/
Child Welfare: Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits for Children in Foster Care
This report begins with a discussion of the foster care system and the Social Security benefits available to eligible children, including those in foster care. It then describes the role of representative payees and their responsibilities. The report provides data on the use of Social Security benefits to reimburse states for child welfare, and includes a discussion of the Keffeler decision. Finally, the report concludes with proposals supported by some advocates to change the current practice of using SSI and other Social Security benefits to fund foster care. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820942/
Child Welfare: Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits for Children in Foster Care
This report begins with a discussion of the foster care system and the Social Security benefits available to eligible children, including those in foster care. It then describes the role of representative payees and their responsibilities. The report provides data on the use of Social Security benefits to reimburse states for child welfare, and includes a discussion of the Keffeler decision. Finally, the report concludes with proposals supported by some advocates to change the current practice of using SSI and other Social Security benefits to fund foster care (including legislation introduced in the 110th Congress), as well as with a discussion of state initiatives to screen all foster children for Social Security and to pass along some benefits to eligible children. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc813581/
Child Welfare: Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits for Children in Foster Care
This report begins with a discussion of the foster care system and the Social Security benefits available to eligible children, including those in foster care. It then describes the role of representative payees and their responsibilities. The report provides data on the use of Social Security benefits to reimburse states for child welfare, and includes a discussion of the Keffeler decision. Finally, the report concludes with proposals supported by some advocates to change the current practice of using SSI and other Social Security benefits to fund foster care, as well as with a discussion of state initiatives to screen all foster children for Social Security and to pass along some benefits to eligible children. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820289/
Child Welfare: Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits for Children in Foster Care
This report begins with a discussion of the foster care system and the Social Security benefits available to eligible children, including those in foster care. It then describes the role of representative payees and their responsibilities. The report provides data on the use of Social Security benefits to reimburse states for child welfare, and includes a discussion of the Keffeler decision. Finally, the report concludes with proposals supported by some advocates to change the current practice of using SSI and other Social Security benefits to fund foster care. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc809596/
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/
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