The Gerontologist, Vol 34, Issue 2 161-172, Copyright © 1994 by The Gerontological Society of America
The adequacy of Supplemental Security Income benefits for aged individuals and couples
DR Meyer and S Bartolomei-Hill
Institute for Research on Poverty, School of Social Work, University of Wisconsin-Madison 53706.
Information is provided on the adequacy of benefits using state-level data
on costs and benefits and multiple indicators of adequacy. Maximum
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for aged persons are generally
shown to be inadequate. However, when income from other sources is
included, couples' SSI benefits appear more adequate when compared to the
preferred measures, while those for individuals remain inadequate. Adequacy
is also compared across states, and a multivariate analysis is conducted to
determine factors that may predict the presence or amount of state
supplementary payments. Policy options for improving the adequacy of
benefits are discussed.