Understanding the Increased Financial Hardship Experienced by Older Adults with Disabilities during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Zachary Morris, Stony Brook University
The Social Security Disability (SSD) programs, including Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income, provide benefits to more than 12 million working age adults with work-disabilities who are administratively determined to be unable to do any substantial gainful activity. The goal of these programs is to help individuals maintain their living standards in the event of a work-limiting disability. However, the extent to which benefits are (a) available to those with work-disabilities and (b) generous enough to ensure a reasonable standard of living remains understudied. In a recently published article, I evaluated the availability and generosity of disability benefit programs in nine high-income countries using data from the Survey of Health Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) (Morris, 2020a). The proposed research will extend this evaluation to the United States drawing on the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and linked administrative data from the U.S. Social Security Administration.