WI21-05: The Effects of Expanding Access to Mental Health Treatment on SS(D)I Applications and Awards



In this project, we will determine the effects of openings (and closings) of county mental health treatment facilities on Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Income (SS(D)I) applications and subsequent awards. These facilities may provide resources such that those struggling with mental health are able to obtain and maintain gainful employment. Expanded access to treatment could then reduce the likelihood that individuals apply for SS(D)I. On the other hand, mental health centers may increase the likelihood that individuals who have disabilities are properly diagnosed, which could increase SS(D)I participation. Given the ongoing detrimental effects of the Coronavirus Pandemic on the mental health of Americans, understanding how local mental health resources can mitigate reliance on disability income is a particularly relevant policy question.


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