Workers in the United States who lose their job may benefit from temporary assistance programs and may apply for Disability Insurance (DI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). We measure whether participation in four temporary assistance programs (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Unemployment Insurance (UI), and Temporary Disability Insurance programs (TDI)) influence application for DI, SSI, and re-employment. We instrument temporary assistance participation using variation in policies across states and over time. Results from our instrumental variables models suggest that increased access to UI benefits reduces applications for DI. This result is robust to different sensitivity checks. We also find less robust evidence that UI participation increases the probability of return to work and reduces the probability of claiming SSI benefits. In contrast, some of our results suggest a positive effect of SNAP participation on claiming SSI.
The research reported herein was pursuant to a grant from the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) funded as part of the Retirement Research Consortium (RRC). The findings and conclusions expressed are solely those of the authors and do not represent the views of SSA, any agency of the federal government, the RRC, or the Urban Institute, its board, or its funders. We received value feedback from a number of people, including: Gregory Acs, Pamela Loprest, two anonymous referees, editors of Research in Labor Economics and seminar participants at the Urban Institute, the Social Security Administration, and the IZA/OECD/World Bank Conference on Safety Nets and Benefit Dependence. We would also like to thank Tom Callan for excellent research assistance and Stephan Lindner would like to express his gratitude to Brian Rowe, Christine Cheu, and Louie for their support. We would not have been able to conduct this study without the support of Paul Davies, Thuy Ho, and Tom Solomon from SSA.
Lindner, S. and Nichols, A. (2014), "The Impact of Temporary Assistance Programs on Disability Rolls and Re-employment", Safety Nets and Benefit Dependence (Research in Labor Economics, Vol. 39), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 219-258. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0147-912120140000039006Download as .RIS
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