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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Social Security Reform: Legal Analysis of Social Security Benefit Entitlement Issues

Social Security Reform: Legal Analysis of Social Security Benefit Entitlement Issues

Date: July 7, 2013
Creator: Swendiman, Kathleen S. & Nicola, Thomas J.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: Trust Fund Investment Practices

Social Security: Trust Fund Investment Practices

Date: August 20, 2014
Creator: Nuschler, Dawn
Description: This report describes Social Security trust fund investment practices under current law.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out?

Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out?

Date: August 28, 2014
Creator: Meyerson, Noah P.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
How Social Security Benefits Are Computed: In Brief

How Social Security Benefits Are Computed: In Brief

Date: February 4, 2015
Creator: Meyerson, Noah P.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Summary of Major Changes in the Social Security Cash Benefits Program: 1935-1996

Summary of Major Changes in the Social Security Cash Benefits Program: 1935-1996

Date: December 20, 1996
Creator: Kollmann, Geoffrey
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security Primer

Social Security Primer

Date: June 17, 2013
Creator: Nuschler, Dawn
Description: Report that provides an overview of Social Security financing and benefits under current law.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security Reform: Current Issues and Legislation

Social Security Reform: Current Issues and Legislation

Date: November 28, 2012
Creator: Nuschler, Dawn
Description: Report that looks at the Social Security debate, Social Security future projections, and public opinion on Social Security reform. It also looks at past reform measures, from the 109th-112th Congress, none of which received congressional action.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security Provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Social Security Provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Date: February 13, 2009
Creator: Szymendera, Scott
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: Raising the Retirement Age Background and Issues

Social Security: Raising the Retirement Age Background and Issues

Date: June 7, 2000
Creator: Kollmann, Geoffrey
Description: The Social Security “full retirement age” — the age at which retired workers, aged spouses, or surviving aged spouses receive benefits that are not reduced for “early” retirement — will gradually rise from 65 to 67 beginning with people who attain age 62 in 2000 (i.e., those born in 1938). Early retirement benefits will still be available beginning at age 62 (age 60 for aged widows and widowers), but at lower levels. This report discusses bills introduced in the last four Congresses that would, among other things, accelerate the phase-in of the increase in the full retirement age to 67, raise the early retirement age to 65 or 67, and raise the full retirement age to 69 or 70.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: Calculation and History of Taxing Benefits

Social Security: Calculation and History of Taxing Benefits

Date: October 21, 2008
Creator: Mulvey, Janemarie & Scott, Christine
Description: This report discusses the Social Security system that provides monthly benefits to qualified retirees, disabled workers, and their spouses and dependents.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security Notch Issue: A Summary

Social Security Notch Issue: A Summary

Date: March 6, 2003
Creator: Kollmann, Geoffrey
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Government's Long-Term Fiscal Shortfall: How Much Is Attributable to Social Security?

The Government's Long-Term Fiscal Shortfall: How Much Is Attributable to Social Security?

Date: August 29, 2005
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Date: September 14, 2012
Creator: Moulta-Ali, Umar
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: What Happens to Future Benefit Levels Under Various Reform Options

Social Security: What Happens to Future Benefit Levels Under Various Reform Options

Date: August 20, 2001
Creator: Koitz, David; Kollmann, Geoffrey & Nuschler, Dawn
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security Benefits for Noncitizens: Current Policy and Legislation

Social Security Benefits for Noncitizens: Current Policy and Legislation

Date: January 24, 2007
Creator: Nuschler, Dawn & Siskin, Alison
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Current Social Security Issues

Current Social Security Issues

Date: May 21, 1998
Creator: Koitz, David & Kollmann, Geoffrey
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Structure of Social Security Individual Account Contributions and Investments: Choices and Implications

The Structure of Social Security Individual Account Contributions and Investments: Choices and Implications

Date: May 1, 2006
Creator: Whitman, Debra B.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: Major Decisions in the House and Senate Since 1935

Social Security: Major Decisions in the House and Senate Since 1935

Date: January 15, 2014
Creator: Sidor, Gary
Description: This report is a reference document on the major statutory decisions made by Congress on the Social Security program, including a summary table of all of the legislation discussed.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: Minimum Benefits

Social Security: Minimum Benefits

Date: June 23, 2014
Creator: Meyerson, Noah P.
Description: 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
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Fact Sheet: The Social Security Retirement Age

Fact Sheet: The Social Security Retirement Age

Date: January 24, 2013
Creator: Sidor, Gary
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Community Services Block Grants (CSBG): Background and Funding

Community Services Block Grants (CSBG): Background and Funding

Date: May 26, 2011
Creator: Spar, Karen
Description: The Administration's FY2012 budget would zero-out certain national activities related to Community Service Block Grant (CSBG), including Rural Community Facilities and Job Opportunities for Low-Income Individuals (JOLI). The budget requests $20 million for Community Economic Development (down from the FY2010 level of $36 million but more than the final FY2011 level of $18 million), and would target these funds toward the multiagency Healthy Food Financing Initiative. The Administration would fund Individual Development Accounts (IDAs, also known as Assets for Independence) at $24 million in FY2012, which is the same level as in FY2010 and FY2011.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: Raising or Eliminating the Taxable Earnings Base

Social Security: Raising or Eliminating the Taxable Earnings Base

Date: January 30, 2003
Creator: Kollmann, Geoffrey
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: Where Do Surplus Taxes Go and How Are They Used?

Social Security: Where Do Surplus Taxes Go and How Are They Used?

Date: September 8, 2003
Creator: Kollmann, Geoffrey
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Ideas for Privatizing Social Security

Ideas for Privatizing Social Security

Date: April 6, 1998
Creator: Koitz, David Stuart
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department