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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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/metadc855921/
Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)
This report discusses the windfall elimination provision (WEP), 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 or "windfall" these workers would otherwise receive as a result of the interaction between the Social Security benefit formula and the workers' relatively small portion of their careers in Social Security-covered employment. The report provides information about how the provision works, who is affected, history and rationale, impacts, and relevant legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855769/
Social Security Reform
This report examines the debate over the future of the Social Security system. It includes discussion of recent developments; background and analysis with information about the basic debate, specific area of contention, reform initiatives; and relevant legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855816/
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/metadc847625/
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/
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 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/
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 Disability Insurance: The Five-Month Waiting Period for SSDI Benefits
Current law requires that a person wait five months from the onset of a qualifying disability before receiving Social Security benefits. This report explains the five-month waiting period and its legislative history. This report also provides information on other programs that provide income support during this waiting period. It also briefly describes legislation introduced in the 110th Congress that would reduce or eliminate the five-month Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) waiting period (H.R. 69, H.R. 2713, and S. 2050). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc812630/
Social Security Reform: The Issue of Individual Versus Collective Investment for Retirement
This report discusses a myriad of issues have been raised in the current Social Security debate, in particular the question of whether and how the nation’s financial markets might be used to reform the system. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821051/
Social Security: What Happens to Future Benefit Levels Under Various Reform Options
The report first examines several benefit-constraint options. Among them are raising the age at which full Social Security retirement benefits can be received, changing the way initial benefits are computed, and constraining cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs). It also illustrates the effects of creating new personal savings accounts and presents their projected impact as a supplement to, or partial replacement of, the existing system, or as a means to close the gap between the benefit levels promised by the existing system and what can be paid under its projected future income. Finally, because across-the-board cuts may be seen as too severe for several types of recipients, other options that would ameliorate their effects, including one that would raise revenue, are also illustrated. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821064/
Social Security Administration (SSA): Budget Issues
This report provides an overview of the Social Security Administration (SSA) 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/metadc821102/
Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program: Overview and Current Issues
This report provides an overview of how the Ticket to Work program operates and addresses several issues related to the Ticket program. First, it provides a brief background on the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs and a legislative history on how the Ticket program evolved. Second, this report provides an in-depth explanation on the various components and regulations of the Ticket to Work program in its current form and prior to major regulatory changes in July 2008. Third, it examines other work incentive programs created by Ticket to Work legislation and concludes with a discussion on the issues surrounding implementation of the Ticket program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821576/
Current Social Security Issues
Social Security is the focus of intense public interest. Projected long-range funding problems, public skepticism about its future, and a growing perception that Social Security will not be as good a value for future retirees as it is today are fueling calls for reform. This report discusses a number of the major Social Security issues currently drawing congressional attention. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821983/
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/metadc805080/
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/metadc809079/
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/metadc821177/
Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)
This report discusses the windfall elimination provision (WEP), 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 or “windfall” these workers would otherwise receive as a result of the interaction between the Social Security benefit formula and the workers’ relatively short careers in Social Security-covered employment. Opponents contend that the provision is basically imprecise and can be unfair. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc810032/
Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)
This report discusses windfall elimination provision (WEP), 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 or “windfall” these workers would otherwise receive as a result of the interaction between the Social Security benefit formula and the workers’ relatively small portion of their careers in Social Security-covered employment. Opponents contend the provision is basically imprecise and can be unfair. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc818796/
Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)
This report discusses the windfall elimination provision (WEP), 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 or “windfall” these workers would otherwise receive as a result of the interaction between the Social Security benefit formula and the workers’ relatively short careers in Social Security-covered employment. Opponents contend the provision is basically imprecise and can be unfair. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc807868/
Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)
This report discusses the windfall elimination provision (WEP), 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 or “windfall” these workers would otherwise receive as a result of the interaction between the Social Security benefit formula and the workers’ relatively short careers in Social Security-covered employment. Opponents contend that the provision is basically imprecise and can be unfair. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc819331/
Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)
This report discusses the windfall elimination provision (WEP), 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 Social Security’s benefit formula is weighted such that workers with low lifetime earnings receive a greater share of their covered earnings in benefits than workers with medium or high lifetime earnings. Opponents contend that the provision is basically imprecise and can be unfair. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc818160/
Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)
This report discusses the windfall elimination provision (WEP), 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 or “windfall” these workers would otherwise receive as a result of the interaction between the Social Security benefit formula and the workers’ relatively short careers in Social Security-covered employment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc815181/
Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)
This report discusses the windfall elimination provision (WEP), 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc808412/
Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)
This report discusses the windfall elimination provision (WEP) 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 or “windfall” these workers would otherwise receive as a result of the interaction between the Social Security benefit formula and the workers’ relatively short careers in Social Security-covered employment. Opponents contend that the provision is basically imprecise and can be unfair. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821140/
Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)
This report discusses the windfall elimination provision (WEP) 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 or “windfall” these workers would otherwise receive as a result of the interaction between the Social Security benefit formula and the workers’ relatively small portion of their careers in Social Security-covered employment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc806545/
Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)
This report discusses the windfall elimination provision (WEP), 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 imprecise and often unfair. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc806214/
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
This report discusses the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, enacted in 1974, which is a needs-based program that provides cash benefits designed to ensure a minimum income to aged, blind, or disabled persons with limited income and assets. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820863/
Social Security Benefits for Noncitizens: Current Policy and Legislation
Concerns about the number of unauthorized (illegal) aliens residing in the United States and the totalization agreement with Mexico signed in 2004 have fostered considerable interest in the eligibility of noncitizens for U.S. Social Security benefits. This report examines the issue and discusses current legislation pertaining to it. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821414/
Age Dependency Ratios and Social Security Solvency
As highlighted by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the aging of the (United States) population, hastened by the impending retirement of the huge baby-boom generation, has caused policy-makers to question whether the U.S. Social Security system can meet the demands for retirement benefits in the future. Because the current system largely pays benefits through taxes paid by current workers, the financial health of the system is sensitive to the ratio of dependents to workers—sometimes called the age dependency ratio or support ratio. Trends and projections of dependency ratios, including the relationship between both older (years 65 and older) and younger (under age 20) dependents to the working-age population in the United States are considered in the first section of this demographic report. Next, the United States is compared to nine other nations, including the seven other members of the G8. In the final section, policy implications of the changing dependent-to-worker ratios are considered in the context of pay-as-you-go (paygo) social security systems. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821418/
Social Security: Revisiting Benefits for Spouses and Survivors
This report describes the current-law structure of auxiliary benefits for spouses, divorced spouses and surviving spouses. It also discusses some of the issues concerning the adequacy and equity of the current-law structure of auxiliary benefits, and presents some recent proposals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822001/
The Structure of Social Security Individual Account Contributions and Investments: Choices and Implications
Policymakers have debated creating a system of individual accounts (IAs) as part of Social Security for many years. This report describes policymakers’ administrative and structural choices regarding the collection and investment of assets in a system of individual accounts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822468/
Tax Code Termination Act: A Fact Sheet
This report discusses the Tax Code Termination Act, which would “sunset” (repeal) the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 on December 31, 2002 and would require that any new federal tax system that is adopted be approved not later than July 4, 2002. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822481/
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