Tested the impact on employment and earnings of a graduated $1-for-$2 benefit offset for earnings over current rules that eliminate Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits entirely when beneficiaries reach the SSDI Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) level.

"This study evaluated impacts on employment and earnings levels among people with disabilities of eliminating the "cash cliff" aspect of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, in which beneficiaries lose their entire cash benefit when their earnings reach the SSDI Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) level. The alternative tested was a graduated $1-for-$2 benefit offset for earnings. Findings demonstrated that an SSDI offset can have a significant, large, and enduring effect on the SGA earnings rate of certain beneficiaries, but that the effect may be limited to a subset of individuals, and may be enhanced when paired with healthcare protection" (Abstractor: Author)

Full Publication Title: Effects on Beneficiary Employment and Earnings of a Graduated $1-for-$2 Benefit Offset for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)


Major Findings & Recommendations

• “22% of the treatment group utilized the benefit offset (within approximately two years of enrollment)…Among early enrollees, for whom we were able to observe 3 years post-enrollment, the offset utilization rate was 41%.” • “There was a significant effect of the offset intervention on SGA rate…and borderline-significant effects on average earnings or employment rate in the first year following enrollment. There were no significant effects across any measure during the second year post-enrollment.” • The baseline Medicaid Buy-In subgroup experienced greater SGA rate gains than the full sample in the first year following enrollment. “As with the full sample, there was no significant effect on SGA rate in the second year following enrollment, and no significant effects during the first or second years post-enrollment for average earnings or employment rate.” • “There was a dramatic difference in employment-related outcomes between early enrollees and later enrollees.” (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)