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Author Topic: Does anyone know how many DI recipients work after they are approved?  (Read 1206 times)

busparo

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Are there any statistics on how many beneficiaries work and at what level and for how long?  I'm curious how common sustained part-time work is.  Thanks!

newdawn

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Re: Does anyone know how many DI recipients work after they are approved?
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2022, 05:03:02 pm »
I have a 2019 post on this subject and it cites older data but I'm guessing disability recipients' work habits haven't changed all that much (just a guess though).

https://forum.ssdfacts.com/continuing-disability-reviews/working-pt-cdr/msg229462/#msg229462

More recently there was a POD project that ended (I remember when they were sending letters trying to get people to join a few years back). I think they were trying to see what difference (if any) it would make if they took away the SGA "cash cliff" and reduced benefits $1 for every $2 earned over the TWP (Trial Work Period Threshold) among other things. See pages 5-6 (pdf pgs 24-25) for POD program rules. See pages 7-8 (pdf pgs 26-27) for differences between the two treatment groups vs. control group.

While I don't understand much of the report...

you'll notice that the average annual earnings for the treatments groups was $5022 and the control group's was $4954.

SSA enrolled about 10,000 people on SSDI (from volunteers) between the ages 20-62 in the 2-year demonstration project (2019-2020).

"SSDI beneficiaries who volunteered to enroll in POD were more connected to work before enrollment compared with those who did not enroll. Among those enrolled in POD, treatment and control group members were, on average, equivalent in their characteristics at the time of enrollment, which laid the foundation for generating unbiased estimates of POD's impacts."

"POD enrollees had stronger connections to work relative to beneficiaries who did not volunteer for POD (Exhibit III.4). For example, 15 percent of POD enrollees had earnings at or above the SGA amount since 2014, which was about 2.5 times the rate for non-volunteers. The POD enrollment rate was also disproportionately high for those who had earnings at or above the TWP amount since 2014. Similarly, we found that beneficiaries with TWP-level earnings and no SGA level earnings since 2014 were overrepresented among POD enrollees. Finally, a higher share of the POD enrollees than non-volunteers had a ticket assigned under the Ticket-to-Work program in the last four years, which could signal preparations for or interest in returning to work. POD enrollees and non-volunteers also differed along other characteristics, though many of these differences may also stem from enrollees' stronger connection to work. For example, POD enrollees were younger than non-volunteers, though work-oriented SSDI beneficiaries also tend to be younger (Livermore et al. 2011)."

It looks like the average time on SSDI for the treatment and control groups was a little over 9 years. See page 41 (page 60 in the pdf doc) and it breaks down other characteristics as well. They address the impact of the pandemic on the POD project beginning on the next page.

Anyways, slightly interesting since the POD project volunteers "had stronger connections to work relative to beneficiaries who did not volunteer" and you can see what they were earning on average and some other stuff if you poke around enough.

https://www.ssa.gov/disabilityresearch/documents/POD_Final_Evaluation_Report.pdf
Location: IL
Age at Application: 31
Disability: Depression, anxiety
Applied: 11/2013
First Denial: 03/2014
Reconsideration Denial: 11/2014
Hearing: 11/13/15 (Friday the 13th!)
ALJ Approval: 01/15/16 Fully Favorable
Back Pay: 02/13/16
Award Letter: 02/17/16
1st monthly benefit: 03/21/16

newdawn

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Re: Does anyone know how many DI recipients work after they are approved?
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2022, 05:03:51 pm »
My 2019 post...

First source deals with both SSDI & SSI beneficiaries using 2004 self-report survey data (& IRS annual earnings data from 2004-2007 in some cases):
https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v71n3/v71n3p61.pdf

13% worked during previous year (both SSDI & SSI beneficiaries)
Source: 2004 BNS (National Beneficiary Survey), Sample size 7603
[table 5, pg 71]

"Overall, 27 percent of beneficiaries had earnings in at least 1 of the 4 years, and among those with any earnings, 25 percent earned above the annualized SGA level for nonblind beneficiaries in at least 1 year."
Source: 2004 NBS matched to 2004-2007 IRS earnings data, Sample size 7603
[pg 72 & Table 6]

73% had no earnings in years 2004-2007 so 27% had earnings in at least 1 of the 4 years
7% had earnings in 1 year only
11% had earnings in all 4 years with $6,442 average annual earnings
Source: 2004 NBS matched to 2004-2007 IRS earnings data, Sample size 7603
[table 6, pg 72]

18-19% all beneficiaries have some earnings each year from 2004-2007 (both SSDI & SSI beneficiaries)
Source: 2004 NBS matched to 2004–2007 IRS earnings data
[table 7, pg 73]

Second source is an information gold mine and cites a ton of sources in case anyone wants additional reading:
https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v71n3/v71n3p11.html

Percentage who worked in previous year [relies on NBS data]
13% All beneficiaries
13% SSDI
11% SSI
15% concurrent

Livermore, Stapleton, and Roche (2009), for example, used the NBS data to show that 13 percent of all Social Security disability beneficiaries worked during the previous year, with slightly higher rates of employment for DI and concurrent beneficiaries (13 percent and 15 percent, respectively) in comparison with SSI disability recipients (11 percent).”

“The authors also found that beneficiaries who worked while still receiving benefits averaged 22 hours of work per week at an average wage of $6.38 per hour and earnings of $637 per month. Working beneficiaries were also more likely to work for extended periods, with an average tenure of 46 months.”

They go on to acknowledge “the limited information available on the employment experiences of Social Security disability program beneficiaries” and “we describe the administrative data used in the analysis, the sample selection criteria and definitions, as well as our approach to generating the employment estimates”.***

"In Table 1, we summarize the characteristics of the more than 10 million working-age adult disability beneficiaries covered under Social Security in 2007."

From Table 1 (which compares 7 million 1996 beneficiaries to more than 10 million 2007 beneficiaries),

2007 beneficiaries
2007
annual
earnings       All       DI      SSI    Concurrent

$0 earnings  83.1   80.5   87.4  86.3
$1-$1000     4.8     4.5     5.1    5.7
$1000-5000  5.6     6.3     4.3    5.5

You can see the table if you want to see the difference between 1996 & 2007 beneficiaries’ annual earnings. FYI, “Earnings in 1996 are inflation adjusted to reflect 2007 dollars.”

“In examining the employment characteristics of beneficiaries, we use a minimum annual earnings threshold of $1,000 to identify Social Security disability beneficiaries who had substantive employment experiences.”

Percentage employed during 2007 who earned at least $1000 per year:
12% all beneficiaries
15% SSDI-only
8% SSI-only
8% concurrent beneficiaries
[From author’s calculation which are based on SSA's 2007 TRF data* linked to MEF data**

“Based on this threshold, 12 percent of all beneficiaries were employed during 2007. Across program groups, the DI-only beneficiary employment rate (15 percent) was substantially higher than those for SSI-only and concurrent beneficiaries (8 percent for both groups).”

Table 2 compares “Employment rates for all Social Security disability beneficiaries, by program groups and demographic characteristics” for 2007. [Again from authors' calculations based on SSA's 2007 TRF data linked to MEF data.]

For instance, by age group:
Age    Employment Rate
18-39    18.7%
40-49    12.4%
50-59    9.8%
60-64    9.1%

By primary disabling condition:
Affective disorders 12.3%
Other psych disorders 11.9%
Intellectual disability 15.5%
Back disorders 9.7%
Other musculoskeletal disorders 11.4%
Other physical disorders 12.9%

By years since first eligibility:
1-2 years 15.6%
3-5 years 13.5%
6-9 years 12.9%
10+ years 10.2%

Also of interest:

“We define beneficiaries with annual earnings exceeding $1,000 as employed; under this definition of employment, the overall employment rate of Social Security disability beneficiaries was 12 percent in 2007. Substantial variation in employment rates exists within the population. DI-only beneficiaries and those younger than age 40 were much more likely to work relative to other beneficiaries. Additionally, substantial regional variation exists, as Northern Plains and Midwestern states tended to have higher employment rates and Southern states tended to have lower rates. Across states, employment rates ranged from 7 percent (West Virginia) to 23 percent (North Dakota). We also find that state-level employment rates for beneficiaries were persistent over time. Employment rates were sensitive to the business cycle, with the overall rate for all disability beneficiaries varying from 11 percent to 13 percent since 1996.”

The paper goes on and on….but I’ll stop here.

* “Ticket Research File (TRF), which was originally constructed to analyze the effect of the TTW program. The TRF contains current and historical data on approximately 21 million Social Security beneficiaries aged 18–64 who participated in the SSI disability and/or DI programs at any time between January 1996 and December 2007. The data are housed on the mainframe computer at SSA's data center and are available on a restricted basis. Hildebrand and others (2009) provide full documentation on the TRF.”

** “We use earnings data from SSA's Master Earnings File [MEF], which includes annual earnings data derived from tax reports. We combine total Medicare wages and total Medicare self-employment earnings in the MEF to derive a measure of total earnings. The employment and earnings statistics do not reflect the employment and earnings of those whose earnings are not reported to the Internal Revenue Service. Approximately 96 percent of the legally employed US workforce is in jobs subject to Social Security taxes.”

*** Sample Selection and Definitions: “For each cohort, we included only Social Security beneficiaries who were on the program rolls at least 1 full calendar year to avoid capturing employment from preaward jobs. Within the overall beneficiary population, we defined three mutually exclusive program title groups: DI-only (Title II), SSI-only (Title XVI), and concurrent (DI and SSI disability) beneficiaries. The determination of program title is made independently in each observation year. We assigned program status based on whether a person was in current-pay status for that program for at least 1 month of the observation year. We defined a concurrent beneficiary as someone who was in current-pay status for SSI with at least 1 month in current-pay status for DI in a year.”

Here are the sources again:

“Social Security Disability Beneficiaries with Work-Related Goals and Expectations”
Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71, No. 3, 2011
Livermore
https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v71n3/v71n3p61.pdf

“Employment among Social Security Disability Program Beneficiaries, 1996–2007”
Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71, No. 3, 2011
Mamun, Paul O'Leary, et al.
https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v71n3/v71n3p11.html
Location: IL
Age at Application: 31
Disability: Depression, anxiety
Applied: 11/2013
First Denial: 03/2014
Reconsideration Denial: 11/2014
Hearing: 11/13/15 (Friday the 13th!)
ALJ Approval: 01/15/16 Fully Favorable
Back Pay: 02/13/16
Award Letter: 02/17/16
1st monthly benefit: 03/21/16