Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 64, No. 1

(released April 2002)
by David A. Weaver

The widow(er)'s limit provision of Social Security establishes caps on the benefit amounts of widow(er)s whose deceased spouse filed for early retirement benefits. Currently, 33 percent of Social Security's 8.1 million widow(er) beneficiaries have lower benefits because of that provision. This article describes the widow(er)'s limit provision and evaluates options for changing it.

by Susan Wilschke

This article examines child support provisions in the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program and other means-tested programs. It also discusses policy options for improving receipt of child support for children receiving SSI and ways that SSA could gain better access to child support data.

by Adrienne Croll

This article details the congressional effort to recognize the important contributions of Filipino veterans in World War II that led to the enactment of a new title VIII of the Social Security Act, "Special Benefits for Certain World War II Veterans." It describes the evolution of a proposal to pay a reduced Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit to Filipino and other World War II veterans who want to return to their homeland or otherwise live outside the United States. The article highlights the different options considered and the early implementation of payments by the Social Security Administration under the new program. Title VIII is the first benefit program administered by the Social Security Administration since the enactment of the legislation that created the SSI program in 1972.

by Peter M. Wheeler, John R. Kearney, and Carolyn A. Harrison

The International Social Security Association recently completed a six-nation comparative study of work incapacity and reintegration that focused on workers with back disorders. This article discusses the findings of the U.S. national study and discusses their policy implications.

by Mark E. Hill and Ira Rosenwaike

To provide a more detailed assessment of the coverage of deaths of older adults in the Social Security Administration's Death Master File (DMF), this research note compares age-specific death counts from 1960 to 1997 in the DMF with official counts tabulated by the National Center for Health Statistics, the most authoritative source of death information for the U.S. population. Results suggest that for most years since 1973, 93 percent to 96 percent of deaths of individuals aged 65 or older were included in the DMF.

by Richard V. Burkhauser, J. S. Butler, and Robert R. Weathers II

The onset of a work-limiting health condition may lead workers to reevaluate their lifetime work path. This article analyzes the impact of policy variables—employer accommodations, state Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) acceptance rates, and DI benefits—on the timing of DI applications for such workers.

by David C. Stapleton, David C. Wittenburg, Michael E. Fishman, and Gina A. Livermore

This article examines the interaction between the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) programs in the period before welfare reform (1990 to 1996). It also discusses the potential impact of welfare reform on the interaction between SSI and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, which replaced AFDC.

by Barbara E. Kritzer