WI20-07: Local Public Housing Authorities’ Housing Choice Voucher Policies Can Affect SSI Participation



Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs) both play an important role in the assistance offered to low-income households with disabilities, but the interaction of these programs is largely unstudied. A primary relationship between these programs is the preference Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) can give to household heads with disabilities on HCV waiting lists. While this increased access to valuable HCVs could incentivize households to apply for SSI, households believing they may soon receive an HCV could choose to forego SSI applications since rent is typically the largest household expenditure for HCV applicants. This study hand-collects HCV policies, including waitlist procedures, waitlist preferences, and the time periods HCV waitlists were open from 2010-2017 for over 1,150 local PHAs. We then test whether or not the open waitlist periods in areas with HCV disability preferences affect SSI applications or awards. Our findings suggest that when local PHAs with disability preferences open their waitlists, SSI applications and awards fall. This suggests that increasing funding for and accessibility to HCVs for low-income household heads with disabilities may reduce reliance on SSI.


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WI20-07: Housing Assistance as a Benefit for the Disabled and SSI Takeup

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