Baby functions and awards for Supplemental Safety Earnings (SSI) fell sharply on the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cumulative functions from April to September 2020 had been about 30 p.c decrease than functions over the identical interval in 2019. But the decline diverse considerably throughout native areas. On this paper, we discover the components correlated with the change in functions and awards in the beginning of the pandemic.
The paper discovered that:
- The restriction of in-person providers in any respect Social Safety Administration (SSA) discipline places of work in March 2020 performed an vital position in adjustments in SSI functions; counties with their very own discipline places of work, the place the change in service availability is largest, skilled bigger declines.
- The pandemic’s myriad disruptions to social and repair networks by means of which individuals could find out about SSI additionally contributed to declining functions, as declines had been largest in counties with extra kids that participated in SSI earlier than the pandemic and in counties the place extra folks had a self-identified incapacity.
- New macroeconomic stabilization insurance policies akin to financial impression funds and supplemental unemployment insurance coverage funds additionally seem to have led to fewer little one SSI functions. Counties with bigger employment reductions early within the pandemic, which possible benefited most from these stabilization insurance policies, subsequently additionally had fewer SSI functions.
The coverage implications of the findings are:
- The outcomes level to ways in which SSA may extra successfully conduct outreach to make sure equitable entry to little one SSI because the pandemic wanes. Tapping into native networks, akin to growing outreach actions with native organizations or faculty workers, could be an particularly efficient approach for SSA to make sure that persons are sufficiently conscious of the kid SSI program.
- Administrative burdens within the utility course of for profit packages can scale back participation even when eligibility is unchanged. Though SSA didn’t think about the earnings acquired from financial impression funds and supplemental unemployment insurance coverage advantages in figuring out monetary eligibility for SSI, functions nonetheless declined extra in locations with bigger employment reductions. Moreover, the restriction of in-person providers at discipline places of work could have been extra burdensome in locations the place it was beforehand simpler to go to a close-by discipline workplace.