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.
We have summarized the major findings of this paper in a disability policy brief, “The Work Experiences of New SSI Beneficiaries: A Longitudinal Perspective.”
“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.
“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 original exhibit incorrectly showed the number of Ticket to Work participants served under the outcome-only payment system in December 2008 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, we 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 social security beneficiaries as a result. We also evaluate Partnership Plus, a new initiative that encourages State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies (SVRA) and Employment Networks (EN) to serve clients more collaboratively. We base our analyses on a combination of our agency administrative data on provider and beneficiary participation and interviews with representatives from the agency, our contractors responsible for implementing the program, 5 SVRAs and 17 ENs.
We have summarized the major findings of this paper in a disability policy brief, “Service Providers’ Experiences Under the Revised Ticket to Work Regulations.”
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 second of three planned reports from our evaluation of the WIPA program. We have summarized the major findings of this paper in a disability policy brief, “The Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Program: Promoting Employment Among Social Security Disability Beneficiaries.”