In general, our examination suggests that in the absence of a universal guaranteed income program for all Americans, the operational flexibility of the categorical eligibility criteria for SSI has made the program sensitive to both downturns in the business cycle and to increases in the pool of vulnerable people. Moreover, when the dividing lines separating the working-age adult and child populations eligible for SSI from those eligible for other income-based benefits are imprecise, as with disability, policy changes in other welfare programs likely will affect SSI caseloads.
Daly, Mary C., and Richard V. Burkhauser. 2002. “The Supplemental Security Income Program,” Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Working Paper 2002-20. Available at https://doi.org/10.24148/wp2002-20