2013 Annual Report of the SSI Program

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C. FEDERAL PAYMENTS UNDER SSI
To estimate future amounts of Federal expenditures under SSI, we first modify the projected Federal benefit rates (table IV.A2) to reflect actual payment levels, taking into account historical and projected levels of adjustments for other actual or deemed income. We combine these actual payment levels with the projected numbers of persons receiving Federal SSI payments to generate estimates of the amounts of Federal SSI payments. Table IV.C1 shows historical amounts of such payments by calendar year. We compute these payment amounts on a cash-flow basis, which is consistent with the concepts used to define SSI obligations for the Federal Budget. As a result, for months after January 1978, when SSI payments are due on the first of the month and the first of the month falls on a weekend or Federal holiday, we tabulate these payments in the previous month.1
 
Table IV.C1.—SSI Federal Payments in Current Dollars,a Calendar Years 1974‑2013
75 or
older
75 or
older
Blind or
disabled
1978 b
2008 c
2010
2011   
2012  
2013d   

a
Total historical payments for 1974-77 agree with those presented in the Annual Statistical Supplement to the Social Security Bulletin. Total historical payments for 1978-83 are estimated.

b
Includes 13 months of payments since payments due on January 1, 1978 and January 1, 1979 were both paid in calendar year 1978.

c
Payments for 2008 include $1.4 billion for SSI checks mailed in late December 2008, but reported by the Department of the Treasury in January 2009.

d
Partially estimated.

Note: Totals do not necessarily equal the sums of rounded components. We estimate the historical split among age groups on a calendar year of age basis.
Since we use this cash-flow concept, payments in table IV.C1 differ from similar amounts in other Social Security Administration publications, such as the Annual Statistical Supplement to the Social Security Bulletin, in two main ways. First, tabulations of payments in the Annual Statistical Supplement group payments by the month the payment is due, while table IV.C1 groups payments by the month in which we actually make the payments. In particular, since January 1 of each year is a Federal holiday, SSI payments due on January 1 of years 1979 and later are actually paid in December of the previous year. For example, the calendar year 2012 payment amounts shown in table IV.C1 reflect payments made in January-December 2012, and include the payments due on January 1, 2013 (which were actually paid in December 2012), but not the payments due on January 1, 2012 (which were actually paid in December 2011). Second, beginning in 1991, SSA remitted overpayment recoveries directly to the Department of the Treasury and did not use them to reduce SSI obligations as accounted for in the Federal Budget. Tabulations in the Annual Statistical Supplement continue to report payment amounts that are reduced by such overpayment recoveries.
Table IV.C2 presents corresponding amounts of SSI outlays on a fiscal year basis for fiscal years2 1978-2013. We omit fiscal years prior to 1978 because SSI payment amounts are not readily available on a fiscal year basis for these years. As with the calendar year figures, we show these fiscal year amounts on a cash-flow basis. Consequently, fiscal year totals may contain 11, 12, or 13 months of payments.3
 
Fiscal
year
75 or
older
75 or
older
Blind or
disabled
1979 a
2013 b

a
Payment due on October 1 of fiscal year paid in previous fiscal year.

b
Partially estimated.

Note: Totals do not necessarily equal the sums of rounded components. We estimate the historical split among age groups on a calendar year of age basis.
The declining value of the dollar due to inflation can make it difficult to make meaningful comparisons of dollar amounts over longer periods of time. For this reason, it is desirable to have some means of removing inflation from the 25-year projections of SSI expenditures. The CPI, which we discuss in section IV.A, is an appropriate means of standardizing projected SSI costs over time. Table IV.C3 presents CPI-indexed dollar values of Federal SSI payments (those adjusted by the CPI) for both the historical period, calendar years 1974-2012, and the full 25-year projection period, 2013-37. We present this same information as a graph in figure IV.C1. We base the projections of the CPI used for this standardization on the intermediate economic assumptions of the 2013 OASDI Trustees Report.
The future growth in the “CPI-indexed dollar” estimates is primarily attributable to the underlying growth in the U.S. population (table IV.A1). A notable aspect of this time series of constant dollar estimates is the rather sharp level increase from 2008 to 2009 in these amounts. This level shift is the result of the combination of the spike in the CPI for the third quarter of calendar year 2008, which caused the large 5.8 percent benefit rate increase for 2009 and the subsequent drop in the CPI for 2009.
 
 
Adjusted a CPI
75 or
older
75 or
older
Blind or
disabled
1978 b

a
The “adjusted CPI” is the series of actual and projected CPI values indexed to 2013 (i.e., adjusted so that the value shown for 2013 is 100.00). Projections of the adjusted CPI are based on the intermediate economic assumptions of the 2013 OASDI Trustees Report.

b
Payment amounts include 13 months of payments since payments due on January 1, 1978 and January 1, 1979 were both paid in calendar year 1978.

Note: Totals do not necessarily equal the sums of rounded components. We estimate the historical split among age groups on a calendar year of age basis.
 
Although we do not prepare detailed projections of the SSI State supplementation payments that SSA administers, we present historical information on the amounts of such supplements in Table IV.C4 for two broad recipient categories. These amounts are consistent with tabulations in the Annual Statistical Supplement to the Social Security Bulletin.
 
Table IV.C4.—SSI Federally-Administered State Supplementation Payments
in Current Dollars, Calendar Years 1974-2012
Blind or
disabled