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Flat Benefit Would Boost Benefits for Low-Income Workers

Created on October 23, 2015

Flat Benefit Would Boost Benefits for Low-Income Workers


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Read the original report, "Improving Social Security Disability Insurance with a Flat Benefit," by Rachel Greszler.

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Under the current SSDI structure, individuals with the lowest incomes also receive the smallest benefit checks. Based on current beneficiaries, an anti-poverty benefit would increase benefits for 36 percent of future beneficiaries while decreasing benefits for the other 64 percent.

Note: Under this flat benefit plan, all workers would receive an anti-poverty benefit equal to $981 in 2015, but across all beneficiaries (including children and spouses), the average benefit would be $858. Data based on the total number of beneficiaries within each $100 range of benefits was converted into groups with equal numbers of beneficiaries by altering the benefit ranges. Benefits were assumed to be equally distributed across each benefit range, meaning that the same number of people receive $1,000 checks as receive $1,001 checks up through $1,099. The current benefit levels stated under the ranges represent the median value. Source: Author’s calculations using data from Social Security Administration, Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, 2013, December 2014, Table 5, http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/di_asr/2013/sect01b.pdf (accessed September 21, 2015).

CHART 5 • BG 3068

Tags: social-security-disability-insurance, private-disability-insurance, federal-poverty-level