Federal disability payments encourage more family caregiving, study finds

December 10, 2019

Federal disability benefits can lead to increases in other support for beneficiaries, such as in-kind assistance from adult children, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

Receipt of federal disability insurance also increases the likelihood that children are paid for their in-kind assistance and enables children who provide that assistance to reduce the amount that they work.

These findings, published online by the Journal of Health Economics, suggest that disability recipients are using disability benefits to provide financial compensation to their adult children caregivers.

"These findings provide new evidence that family shares in the burden of disability and that the impact of disability benefits extends beyond the beneficiary to the entire family," said Stephanie Rennane, the study's author and an associate economist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. "Receipt of federal disability benefits allows a family to reoptimize how they support one another."

While prior work has studied the various sources of income and insurance for individuals who experience a disability, less research has examined how family support mechanisms interact and change over the evolution of a disability, and how they interact with federal disability benefits.

In order to examine trends in income, benefits and family assistance, Rennane used the Health and Retirement Study to analyze information about informal caregiving provided to survey respondents, and matched these details to disability benefit records from the Social Security Administration. The experiences of about 3,000 people were analyzed.

The study compared informal care provided to respondents who had received benefits through either the Social Security Disability Insurance program or Supplemental Security Income program with care to respondents who applied for the benefits, but were denied. The analysis adjusted for differences in health and income between accepted and denied applicants.

The analysis found that the receipt of federal disability payments leads to a 9 percentage point increase in the likelihood of receiving assistance from their children.

Receipt of federal disability payments also more than doubles the likelihood that children are paid for their help and leads to a 50% decline in the probability that the assisting children work full time.

The effects are particularly strong among lower income beneficiaries who receive Supplemental Security Income and among those who recently lost a spouse. Social Security Disability Insurance disability payments also decrease the likelihood that a spouse works.

"The benefits of federal disability payments are shared in complementary ways within the family, enabling a more-holistic network of both formal and informal caregiving," Rennane said. "The resources from disability insurance allow children to reallocate their time to care for their parents."
Support for the study was provided by the U.S. Social Security Administration.

The RAND Social and Economic Well-Being division seeks to actively improve the health, and social and economic well-being of populations and communities throughout the world.

RAND Corporation

Related Science Articles from Brightsurf:

75 science societies urge the education department to base Title IX sexual harassment regulations on evidence and science
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) today led 75 scientific societies in submitting comments on the US Department of Education's proposed changes to Title IX regulations.

Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, biopharma, and pharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2018 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.

Science in the palm of your hand: How citizen science transforms passive learners
Citizen science projects can engage even children who previously were not interested in science.

Applied science may yield more translational research publications than basic science
While translational research can happen at any stage of the research process, a recent investigation of behavioral and social science research awards granted by the NIH between 2008 and 2014 revealed that applied science yielded a higher volume of translational research publications than basic science, according to a study published May 9, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Xueying Han from the Science and Technology Policy Institute, USA, and colleagues.

Prominent academics, including Salk's Thomas Albright, call for more science in forensic science
Six scientists who recently served on the National Commission on Forensic Science are calling on the scientific community at large to advocate for increased research and financial support of forensic science as well as the introduction of empirical testing requirements to ensure the validity of outcomes.

World Science Forum 2017 Jordan issues Science for Peace Declaration
On behalf of the coordinating organizations responsible for delivering the World Science Forum Jordan, the concluding Science for Peace Declaration issued at the Dead Sea represents a global call for action to science and society to build a future that promises greater equality, security and opportunity for all, and in which science plays an increasingly prominent role as an enabler of fair and sustainable development.

PETA science group promotes animal-free science at society of toxicology conference
The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. is presenting two posters on animal-free methods for testing inhalation toxicity at the 56th annual Society of Toxicology (SOT) meeting March 12 to 16, 2017, in Baltimore, Maryland.

Citizen Science in the Digital Age: Rhetoric, Science and Public Engagement
James Wynn's timely investigation highlights scientific studies grounded in publicly gathered data and probes the rhetoric these studies employ.

Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, pharma, and biopharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2016 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.

Three natural science professors win TJ Park Science Fellowship
Professor Jung-Min Kee (Department of Chemistry, UNIST), Professor Kyudong Choi (Department of Mathematical Sciences, UNIST), and Professor Kwanpyo Kim (Department of Physics, UNIST) are the recipients of the Cheong-Am (TJ Park) Science Fellowship of the year 2016.

Read More: Science News and Science Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.