Mathematica Policy Research Inc. [Disclaimer] has completed five evaluation reports on the implementation of the Ticket to Work program, the second paper of the sixth report, and the first paper of the seventh report.
Seventh TTW Evaluation Report
“Ticket to Work Participant Characteristics and Outcomes Under the Revised Regulations” Final Report.
In July 2008, we implemented regulation changes to the Ticket to Work (TTW) program to increase the financial incentives for service providers to participate in the program. This report compares the characteristics and outcomes of two groups of TTW participants – those who assigned their Tickets before we implemented the revised regulations, and those who assigned their Tickets after. In this report, we assess whether the group that assigned their Tickets before the regulation changes is the same or different from the group that assigned their Tickets after in terms of the characteristics of beneficiaries, the types and intensity of services received, the employment expectations and outcomes of TTW participants, and participant satisfaction with TTW. We also provide updated information about the characteristics and employment-related outcomes of TTW participants based on data in the 2010 National Beneficiary Survey (NBS), analogous to the detailed statistics on TTW participants based on earlier rounds of the NBS and presented in previous TTW evaluation reports.
This is the fifth in a series of reports that make up the seventh Ticket to Work evaluation report.
In this paper, we provide a description of the sampling design and the data collection activities for Round 4 (2010) of the Social Security Administration (SSA) National Beneficiary Survey (NBS). The NBS collects data from a national sample of working-age (age 18 to 64) DI and SSI beneficiaries and a sample of TTW participants. We have completed four rounds of the NBS, in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2010. In this paper, we update the descriptive statistics from the appendices to earlier TTW evaluation reports. In this paper we do not analyze the NBS data, but rather provide a data resource to support the analyses conducted in other papers for the seventh report. It also provides general statistics for social security beneficiaries with disabilities and TTW program participants.
This is the fourth in a series of reports that make up the seventh Ticket to Work evaluation report.
Third WIPA Evaluation Report:
Third WIPA Evaluation Report Part 1: “Evaluation of Recent Experience of the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Program: Beneficiaries Served, Services Provided and Program Costs,” Final Report
This report presents findings on the activities of the 103 organizations receiving Social Security Administration grants under the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program from April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011. The WIPA program was established in 2006 and was tasked by SSA to ” disseminate accurate information to beneficiaries with disabilities ….about work incentives programs and issues related to such programs,” with the ultimate goal of such assistance being to “assist SSA beneficiaries with disabilities succeed in their return to work efforts.” The findings presented in this report, update results presented in the Second WIPA Evaluation Report. This report follows beneficiaries who first contacted a WIPA project from April 1, 2010, to March 31, 2012 and documents the characteristics of those who use WIPA services. It also documents the work incentives, benefits, and services that community work incentive coordinators discussed with or suggested to beneficiaries and assesses the extent to which beneficiaries who enrolled in WIPA services had sustained contact with WIPA projects. Finally, this report relates output measures, such as the number of beneficiaries enrolled in WIPA, to the amount of funding each WIPA project receives to determine its relative performance.
Third WIPA Evaluation Report Part 2: “Employment-Related Outcomes of a Recent Cohort of Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Program Enrollees” Final Report
We based the findings presented in the original version of this report in part on data from the 2010 Ticket Research File (TRF). After we approved the report, the agency revised the variables in the 2010 TRF reflecting nonpayment status following a suspension or termination because of work (NSTW). In this version of the report, we have updated the original findings using the revised variables. Although specific statistics related to NSTW and benefits forgone for work have changed slightly, the general findings and conclusions of the report have not changed. [Posted: February 2013.]
This report presents an analysis of beneficiaries who first enrolled for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) services between October 1, 2009, and March 31, 2010. The analysis is based upon data collected by the individual WIPA programs matched to Social Security Administration (SSA) records. The findings include the services they received, their use of SSA work supports, employment, earnings, benefit reductions due to earnings, and the likelihood that they left the disability rolls during the period following WIPA program entry and the end of December 2010.
This is the first in a series of reports that make up the seventh Ticket to Work evaluation report.
Sixth TTW Evaluation Report
In this summary, we present the key findings from four studies in the sixth evaluation report conducted in 2010–2012. These studies focus on the employment efforts of working-age (age 18 to full retirement age) Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance beneficiaries and the Social Security program features designed to encourage and facilitate beneficiary employment. Two of the reports specifically concern Ticket to Work (TTW) program issues, while the other two address more general topics related to beneficiary employment and Social Security work supports other than TTW. Collectively, these four studies constitute the sixth report of the TTW program evaluation.
In this paper, we examine, from a longitudinal perspective, the extent to which new Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability beneficiaries return to work and use SSI work incentives. We focus on those who were first awarded SSI benefits as adults in 1996 and follow them for the next 11 years. We also compare the experiences of more recent annual SSI cohorts (1997 through 2006). The period of our analysis precedes the implementation of the new TTW regulations instituted in July 2008 and therefore reflects experiences under the original TTW rules as well as prior to TTW. This paper is a companion piece to the cohort analysis of SSDI beneficiaries that we did as part of the fifth evaluation report “Longitudinal Statistics for New Social Security Disability Insurance Beneficiaries,” Final Report.
This is the fourth in a series of reports that make up the sixth Ticket to Work evaluation report.
“Can the Ticket to Work Program Be Self-Financing?” Final Report
This paper addresses the question of whether the Ticket to Work Program generates sufficient savings to be self-financing. When Congress designed the program, they expected it to generate net savings because TTW would only pay providers when a beneficiary stopped receiving cash benefits and the provider payments were set to be less than average benefit levels. However, the calculation of savings is less straightforward than this payment system suggests. By design, every TTW participant who an EN newly assists to exit cash benefits (that is, would not have done so in the absence of TTW) generates savings to the agency—the reduction in payments to these beneficiaries exceeds the payments TTW makes to the ENs that accepted Tickets. In contrast, TTW participants who would have exited cash benefits without any agency-financed assistance will generate only costs to us. In this latter case, TTW does not reduce benefits (the participants would have exited even in its absence), yet we now pay ENs for months when these beneficiaries are not receiving benefits. We know the value of payments made under the TTW program, but we have not been able to determine precisely what proportion of these payments were made for TTW participants who ENs have newly helped to exit cash benefits, and what proportion is for participants who would have left anyway in the absence of TTW services. As a result, this assessment of whether TTW is self-financing is based on a multi-part strategy that first calculates how big effects would have to be for savings to exceed costs and then reviews the evidence compiled to date to assess how likely it is that effects of that size actually happened. We based the estimates in this paper on the revised TTW rules in place since 2008.
This is the third in a series of reports that make up the sixth Ticket to Work evaluation report.
Provider Experiences under the Revised Ticket to Work Regulations Final Report.
Exhibit III.1 presented in the original version of this report contained a typographical error. The number of Ticket to Work participants served under the outcome-only payment system in December 2008 was incorrectly shown as 24,260. The correct number is 5,299. This version of the report corrects the error in Exhibit III.1. [Posted: February 2013.]
This report examines the experiences of employment service providers in the Ticket to Work Program (TTW) after July 2008, when the Social Security Administration (SSA) changed the regulations that govern the program. With these changes, SSA sought to increase the financial benefits for providers who participate in the program while reducing their administrative burden. We assess the extent to which the new TTW regulations succeeded in making the program more attractive to employment service providers, and whether service providers increased their participation in the program and expanded service provision to SSA beneficiaries as a result. We also evaluate Partnership Plus, a new initiative that encourages State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies (SVRAs) and Employment Networks (ENs) to serve clients more collaboratively. We base our analyses on a combination of SSA administrative data on provider and beneficiary participation and interviews with representatives from SSA, SSA contractors responsible for implementing the program, 5 SVRAs and 17 ENs.
This is the second in a series of reports that make up the sixth Ticket to Work evaluation report.
The original version of this report contained errors in the cost measures presented in Chapter VI and Appendices G and H. The cost indices for three WIPA projects—the Center for Independence of the Disabled (CA), Crossroads Diversified Services (CA), and Endependence Center (DC)—were incorrect. The corrected cost indices appear in the updated October 2011 version of the report, and we updated all other statistics related to the cost measure. Note that while the changes had a negligible impact on the summary statistics presented in Chapter VI, they resulted in changes in the cost quintile rankings of several of the WIPA projects, as shown in Appendix H, Table H.1.
[Posted: March 2, 2012.]
This report presents findings on the activities of the 103 organizations receiving Social Security Administration grants under the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program. Established in 2006, the purpose of the WIPA program is to disseminate information about work incentives to beneficiaries with disabilities, with a focus on promoting beneficiary employment. This is the second of three evaluation reports we will publish on the WIPA program. This report provides a national profile of beneficiaries served by WIPA projects and documents characteristics of those who use WIPA services. It also documents the work incentives, benefits, and services that community work incentive coordinators discussed with or suggested to beneficiaries and assesses the extent to which beneficiaries who enrolled in WIPA services had sustained contact with WIPA projects. Finally, this report relates output measures, such as the number of beneficiaries enrolled in WIPA, to the amount of funding each WIPA project receives to determine its relative performance. The third WIPA evaluation report, scheduled for completion in 2011, will examine the outcomes of WIPA beneficiaries subsequent to their receipt of WIPA services.
This report is the first in a series of reports that will make up the sixth Ticket to Work evaluation report. It is also the second of three planned reports from our evaluation of the WIPA program.
Work Activity and Use of Employment Supports under the Original Ticket to Work Regulations
Papers from the Fifth Evaluation Report
In this summary, we present the key findings from nine studies in the fifth evaluation report conducted in 2009–2010. These studies update and fill gaps in knowledge about the work activities of Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries and the challenges they face in returning to work at levels that lead to exit from the disability rolls. They focus on the employment efforts of working-age (age 18 to full retirement age) SSI and DI beneficiaries and the SSA program features designed to encourage and facilitate beneficiary employment. Three of these reports specifically concern Ticket to Work (TTW) participants and program issues, while the other six are studies on more general topics related to beneficiary employment and SSA work supports other than TTW. Collectively, these nine studies constitute the fifth report of the Ticket to Work program evaluation.
This report examines the initial period of Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program implementation. We focus on three objectives. First, the evaluation captures stakeholder experiences with the program during start-up. Second, it identifies early opportunities for improvement so the program can implement changes quickly and before they become institutionalized. Third, it informs future program data collection, evaluations, and outcomes analyses, ensuring that such activities are based upon an accurate understanding of program operations. This report focuses first on the early WIPA rollout through the fall of 2007 and the transition of the program from the Benefits Planning Assistance and Outreach (BPAO) program—the WIPA program’s predecessor—to WIPA. It then examines WIPA program implementation as of fall 2008, how WIPA projects provide services to beneficiaries, partnerships with community agencies, data collection, and the training and technical assistance WIPA staff receive.
This report is the first in a series of reports that make up the fifth Ticket to Work evaluation report. It is also the first of three planned reports from our evaluation of the WIPA program.
In this paper, we provide findings from the 2006 National Beneficiary Survey (NBS). It updates earlier findings, and provides more in-depth analyses on non-SSA sources of income, health insurance coverage, the characteristics of employed beneficiaries, and the reasons working beneficiaries leave employment. We also present new findings in two important areas: how work and work expectations by beneficiaries have changed over the three annual NBS surveys and the wages beneficiaries would expect to earn if they did go to work (known as the “reservation wage”).
In this paper, we provide findings on TTW participation through December 2006. The report shows that the TTW participation rate in Phase 1 states had risen to 2.2 percent, up from 1.8 percent 12 months earlier. Much of this paper confirms earlier participation findings, but the paper also includes new information indicating that TTW has created a more substantial change to the market for employment services in some areas, and among some groups of beneficiaries.
In this paper, we provide a description of the sampling design and the data collection activities for Round 3 (2006) of the Social Security Administration (SSA) National Beneficiary Survey (NBS). The NBS collects data from a national sample of working-age (age 18 to 64) DI and SSI beneficiaries and a sample of TTW participants. We have completed three rounds of the NBS, in 2004, 2005, and 2006. In this paper, we update the descriptive statistics from the appendices to earlier TTW evaluation reports. It does not include analysis, but rather is a data resource to support the analyses conducted in other papers for the fifth report and for general information about SSA beneficiaries with disabilities.
Previous TTW evaluation reports used the National Beneficiary Survey (NBS) to identify “work-oriented” beneficiaries who have engaged in recent employment-related activities and those who have goals and expectations that include work. In this paper, we examine these work-oriented beneficiaries to see how they differ from other beneficiaries and whether there are important differences across the SSI and DI programs. Of particular interest, these work-oriented beneficiaries told us in 2004 that they “saw themselves” working and/or leaving SSA benefits in the near future. We therefore use SSA administrative data to look at how successful these work-oriented beneficiaries were at reaching employment and benefit-termination outcomes through 2007, the three years following their interview in the 2004 NBS.
In this paper, we examine the characteristics and use of work incentives of beneficiaries who used Benefits Planning, Assistance, and Outreach (BPAO) services from 2001-2005. In this analysis, we matched BPAO program data to SSA administrative data to look at the characteristics of BPAO users, the type of BPAO services they received, their use of SSA work incentive provisions and the likelihood of them leaving the rolls during the year of and three years after initial receipt of BPAO services. In 2006, SSA replaced the BPAO program with the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program. This analysis of the BPAO program thus provides information for comparison to WIPA program that replaced it.
In this paper, we examine the extent to which new Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) beneficiaries return to work and use DI work incentives in the ten years after they begin receiving SSDI benefits. For this analysis, we use SSA administrative data on SSDI beneficiaries who began receiving benefits in 1996 and follow them through 2006. It tracks all employment related activity over the decade, including use of employment services, employment while on SSDI benefits, use of the Trial Work Period incentive program, suspense of SSDI cash benefits, termination of SSDI cash benefits, and return to SSDI cash benefits after termination. The period of our analysis precedes the implementation of the new TTW regulations instituted in July 2008 and therefore reflects experiences under the original TTW rules as well as prior to TTW.
In this paper, we examine the extent to which Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries had their benefits suspended or terminated because of earnings during the period 2002 to 2006 (before the 2008 changes in the Ticket to Work [TTW] regulations). We examine the duration of these suspension and termination spells and compare time in suspense or termination status due to work for both TTW participants and non-participants. We also consider the extent to which TTW participants generated payments for Employment Networks under two of the three TTW payment systems: Milestone-Outcome and Outcome-Only. We do not examine payments to state vocational rehabilitation agencies under the traditional payment system agencies, but we do study the experiences of beneficiaries who assign their Tickets under the traditional system.
In this paper, we present findings of an analysis of the longitudinal experiences of a group of Ticket to Work (TTW) participants who enrolled in the program during the first 18 months of its implementation. Using data from the 2004-2006 National Beneficiary Surveys matched to SSA administrative data, the report follows an early cohort of Phase 1 TTW participants for approximately three years to assess changes in their service use, health status, employment, and income sources. The period is prior to the implementation of the new TTW program regulations in July 2008, and so reflects experiences under the original TTW rules.
Ticket to Work at the Crossroads: A Solid Foundation with an Uncertain Future
Third TTW Evaluation Report
Assessment of Post-Rollout Implementation and Early Impacts
Third Evaluation Report PDF version
Third Evaluation Report Appendices (PDF)
Second TTW Evaluation Report
Implementation Experience During the Second Two Years of Operations (2002-2004 )
Second Evaluation Report PDF version
First TTW Evaluation Report
Initial Evaluation Report
First Evaluation Report PDF version