IRP22-01: The Shifting Safety Net: The Role of Disability Insurance Programs in Household Budgets, Dynamics, and the Broader Community



We will explore the role of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in household budgets, household formation, and caregiving decisions, and how the concentration of disability incidence and assistance impacts communities. We will conduct in-depth interviews in two highly disadvantaged regions where the rate of disability claims is especially high: Clay County in southeastern Appalachia and Humphreys County in the Mississippi Delta. In each, we will conduct in-depth interviews with 25 heads of households in which at least one member receives SSI or SSDI. Additional interviews will be conducted with local experts. While the similarities of the sites (both poor and rural) allow us to examine commonalities, we are also able to examine several important sources of variation. Clay County is predominantly white, in a Medicaid expansion state, and reliably Republican while Humphreys County is predominantly Black, in a state without Medicaid expansion, and solidly Democratic.

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