This month, the Social Security Administration (SSA) celebrates National Social Security Month highlighting the agency’s mission and purpose to support Americans throughout life’s journey from birth to marriage and into retirement. Most people may think of retirement first when they think of Social Security, but SSA also administers benefit programs for people with disabilities: Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. SSA can also connect individuals with other benefit programs for health care, nutrition, and other assistance. For 2018, SSA is shining a spotlight on its online services which can help individuals find out what benefits they may qualify for, estimate future retirement benefits, plan for disability or retirement, submit applications, and much more.
If you’re a person with a disability currently receiving or pondering SSDI or SSI benefits, check out these resources from the NIDILRR community which may be helpful.
- The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Learning and Working During the Transition to Adulthood offers two factsheets for young people: Supplemental Security Income: What Happens to my SSI When I Turn 18? And Saving Money for a Better Life: What Can the ABLE Act Do for Me.
- The RRTC on Employment of Individuals with Physical Disabilities has a large selection of Social Security fact sheets, articles, and other resources written by or collected by RRTC staff.
- The Northwest Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center’s SCI Forum featured a talk with a benefits counselor on balancing work and benefits after SCI.
As part of administering these important programs, SSA collects a wealth of data about who uses these benefit programs, how they are administered, program and service participation, and much more. This data is available to the research community, which can use this information to understand disability in America, identify and monitor trends in benefit and program participation, and evaluate the effectiveness of programs meant to support beneficiaries and, if possible, help them transition to competitive employment in the community. SSA also funds research projects to study ways to improve its own services for current and future beneficiaries and evaluate the effectiveness of its support programs such as Ticket to Work, and more.
- The RRTC on Disability Statistics and Demographics and the RRTC on Employment Policy and Measurement have both used this data as part of their research efforts. Learn more about these projects at http://www.researchondisability.org
- The Disability Compendium, produced by these projects, compiles data from SSA and other sources to provide a more comprehensive picture of disability in the US: https://disabilitycompendium.org/
We searched our collection for research on SSI and SSDI, and research that used data from SSA to examine programs and services. Browse through abstracts from NIDILRR-funded projects and from the greater disability and rehabilitation research community. Many of these articles are available through our document delivery service. Information Specialists are also available to assist in search our databases or identifying other sources of research and data. Learn how to contact an information specialist to help in your literature and data searches!