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The Effect of Social Security Reform Proposals on Social Security Disability Insurance, Supplemental Security Income, and Private Disability Insurance

In the current debate on Social Security reform, very little attention has been given to the program's survivor and disability components. In this AARP Public Policy Institute Issue Paper, Selin Opcin and David Stapleton of The Lewin Group identify and examine individual provisions of several Social Security reform proposals that would have an impact on disability insurance benefits. Among them:

  • reductions in marginal replacement rates used to calculate the Primary Insurance Amount (PIA)
  • limiting disability insurance benefits to Old Age and Survivor Insurance benefits available at age 65
  • reducing cost-of-living adjustments

Because the incomes of workers with disabilities would be reduced significantly by a number of the reform proposals, the authors suggest that it is important for policymakers to address both disability and retirement reform simultaneously. (46 pages)