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Second reason for receiving supplementary security income

Codes and Frequencies

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WHYSSI2 reports the second reason respondents gave for receiving Supplemental Security Income during the previous calendar year. The first reason for receipt of such payments is reported in the complementary variable WHYSSI1.

Interviewers asked, "What were the reasons you were getting Supplemental Security Income?", checked off all applicable answers on the form, and elicited further answers with the probe, "Any other reason?" Many recipients of Supplemental Security Income received such payments for only one reason (reported in WHYSSI1), and these individuals are coded as Not in Universe (code 0) in WHYSSI2. For individuals who reported receiving Supplemental Security Income payments for more than one reason (e.g., on the basis of blindness and on behalf of a disabled child), the second reason given is recorded in WHYSSI2.

Respondents were to report SSI payments that they themselves received as beneficiaries and SSI payments that they received on behalf of a child beneficiary. When interpreting the value labels, users should keep in mind the two meanings of "child" in this context. Beginning in 1980, the ASEC CPS defined as a "child" anyone under age 15; persons age 15 and older were considered "adults" by the survey and were asked questions about their employment and own income. (Prior to 1980, persons under age 14 were considered "children" in terms of the survey universe for work and income questions.) By contrast, government programs such as SSI generally use the more common definition of "child" to mean persons under age 18 when defining eligibility for benefits. Thus, the value label "Disabled (adult or child)" (corresponding to code 1) covers reporting of one's own benefits by disabled persons who are legally adults (age 18+) and by disabled persons who are legally children but who are "adults" in terms of the CPS definition (age 15-17). The value label "On behalf of a disabled child" (corresponding to code 3) covers reporting of benefits on behalf of a disabled child under age 15.


This variable is comparable over time.

For persons age 15 and older, the total amount of income received from Supplemental Security Income during the previous calendar year is reported in INCSSI. Dollar amounts for Supplemental Security Income payments to a child beneficiary under age 15 are included in the parent or guardian's reported income from Supplemental Security Income in INCSSI.


  • Persons age 15+ who reported receiving Supplemental Security Income during the previous calendar year and who gave a first reason for receiving such payments/income.


Years Jan Feb ASEC Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2001 – 2023 - - X - - - - - - - - -



Unharmonized Variables