COVID-19 Impact: Social Insurance Responses

The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare major weaknesses and gaps in our existing social insurance ecosystem, especially in addressing systemic economic inequality affecting various communities.

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Pandemic highlights disparities across states, injuries vs. illnesses

The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the challenge of determining whether employees who contract a highly contagious disease that exposes some workers more than others qualify for benefits under workers’ compensation. This brief explores how disparities from state to state and between injuries and illnesses are playing out during this COVID-19 crisis and assesses longer-term implications.
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COVID-19 Response
Medicare and Health Policy
Workers’ Compensation
Unemployment Insurance
Caregiving
Social Security

COVID-19 Legislative Response

May 31, 2021
This report presents optimistic, probable, and pessimistic scenarios to inform projections of the pandemic’s trajectory and examine the potential impacts on social insurance programs, based on existing knowledge and review of current epidemiological research, by the Epidemiology Working Group of the Academy’s Task Force on COVID-19.
Future of SI
October, 2020
The Future of Social Insurance: Insights From the Pandemic is a collection of essays by 14 previous recipients (2004-2019) of the Robert M. Ball Award for Outstanding Achievements in Social Insurance, part of the 2020 Ball Award: Campaign for Social Insurance.
Accius Elrod
December 15, 2020
As the year draws to a close, our nation is still grappling with a trilogy of crises: an explosive increase in COVID-19 cases, deepening economic instability that has people waiting hours in line at food banks, and ongoing geographic…
CARES-Act-Rebates-Who,-How-Much,-When,-and-How
March 30, 2020
Historic legislation passed by the Senate (S. 3548) and the House (H.R. 748) – the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act – and signed into law on March 27, 2020, includes the provision of one-time payments to individuals who meet certain eligibility requirements.
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Medicare and Health Policy

July, 2020
The protests sweeping the United States (and cities around the world) over the past couple of weeks reflect not just rightful outrage over the heinous murders of George Floyd and others.
Medicare,-Medicaid-&-the-Uninsured
April 7, 2020
In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, three bills were signed into law in the U.S in March 2020, to improve access to testing and care for vulnerable patients, address medical supply shortages, and support the health care workforce and system as a whole.
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Workers’ Compensation

November, 2021
States’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic with respect to workers’ compensation policy will likely prove an important factor in providing critical support to workers while protecting employers from liability.
Pandemic-highlights-disparities
May, 2020
The U.S. workers’ compensation system in its current form is complex, opaque and fragmented. Unlike other social insurance programs, it is wholly administered at the state level, and there is neither federal oversight nor any federal mandate that sets out minimum standards.
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Unemployment Insurance

June 19, 2020
The protests sweeping the United States (and cities around the world) over the past couple of weeks reflect not just rightful outrage over the heinous murders of George Floyd and others.
UI Benefits
April 9, 2020
The U.S. workers’ compensation system in its current form is complex, opaque and fragmented. Unlike other social insurance programs, it is wholly administered at the state level, and there is neither federal oversight nor any federal mandate that sets out minimum standards.
April 8, 2020
The U.S. workers’ compensation system in its current form is complex, opaque and fragmented. Unlike other social insurance programs, it is wholly administered at the state level, and there is neither federal oversight nor any federal mandate that sets out minimum standards.
More on Unemployment Insurance

Caregiving

Medicare,-Medicaid-&-the-Uninsured
April, 2020
This fact sheet summarizes the temporary paid leave provisions enacted by Congress in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes: background on paid leave in the U.S., provisions in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and provisions in the CARES Act, followed by a brief discussion of the impact on workers and their families.
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Social Security

First page of fact sheet
July 16, 2021
This fact sheet describes the urgency of updating Supplemental Security Income (SSI) after decades of federal neglect, especially as policymakers work to “build back better” in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes policy options for ensuring that seniors and people with disabilities are able to access basic economic stability and live with dignity.
Policy-Ideas-to-Discuss---Weiss-&-Bond
August 14, 2020
Many Americans had reason to be concerned about their retirement prospects long before 2020. For decades, the racial wealth gap between Whites and African-Americans has increased, while the gap between Whites and Latinos has not diminished. Workers of color and low-income workers have long had less stable jobs, which provided fewer supports and exposed them to higher risks.
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