Disability Determination Process Small Grant Program (DDP)
Consultative Examination Study
Consultative Exam (CE) Baseline Study
The National Survey of SSI Children and Families (NSCF)
Ticket to Work Evaluation
The National Beneficiary Survey (NBS)
Grant # IDD11000001
On September 1, 2011, we awarded a 5-year grant (renewable annually) to Policy Research Inc. (PRI) in Delmar, New York. The goal of this program is to improve the disability determination process by making make small stipends ($10,000) available to graduate students for innovative research relevant to the disability program. This will allow graduate-level students to conduct supervised independent research on improving disability determination processes. PRI directs this project as program manager.
There have been two cohorts of stipend awards under this program, and PRI has announced availability of the third cohort.
Applications are due to PRI: MARCH 1, 2013
Please see the PRI web site: http://ddp.policyresearchinc.org for information on the following:
Cohort #3 information
Cohort #3 application
Cohort #3 suggested research topics
Cohort #1 and #2 awards are at:
The consultative examination (CE) study featured medical consultants (MC) with administrative assistance from disability examiners reviewing both initial and hearings level CEs, focusing on:
- CE Processes. Are CE requests complying with Federal regulations?
- CE Content. Are medical sources conducting CEs and including content in compliance with Federal regulations?
- CE Completeness and Quality. Do CEs include sufficient information to make a disability determination, and did the agency receive everything it paid for in the exam? Additionally, are there process and content factors that contribute to the quality of CEs?
They delivered a methodological report documenting the questionnaire reliability: “Inter-Rater Reliability Analysis of Data to Document the Consultative Examination Process” (Volume 1 and Volume 2). In another report they analyzed findings from the 327 case folders: “An Assessment of Consultative Examination Processes, Content, and Quality: Findings from the CE Review Data.”
A third deliverable is a reliable web-based questionnaire, with reliability established using agency MCs. The questionnaire is available for future agency research projects and programmatic improvements.
A CE is a physical or mental examination performed by a treating source or other medical source when additional information (e.g., clinical findings, laboratory tests, diagnosis, and prognosis) is needed to make a disability determination. The CE Baseline Study analyzed and documented the quality of CEs used in the initial level of disability determination; assessed if CEs were requested in compliance with SSA regulations; and established a baseline for CE quality.
There were important limitations to this study. The study used the electronic folder for review. At the time of the study, an electronic folder for the initial claim record was not available in sufficient numbers in all States. Comparisons could only be made between States with electronic folders, and the cases were selected in a non-scientific manner, thus limiting the ability to generalize the study findings. The study also did not include CEs obtained at the hearings level. At the time of the study electronic folders were not available at that level.
The NSCF collected data on the health status, functional limitations, health care utilization, health insurance coverage, receipt of services, SSI experience, and socioeconomic status of the households of over 8,000 children who were receiving, had received, or were applying for SSI. The study was limited to the non-institutionalized population in the contiguous United States. Data collection began July 2001 and concluded July 2002.
We are exploring our options for a second National Survey of SSI Children and Families in the coming years and have posted a link to a survey options report. This report provides options related to the structure and technical aspects of a potential new survey.
For more information, continue to the NSCF page.
The Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Act of 1999 (P.L. 106-170) requires the Commissioner of Social Security to provide for independent evaluations to assess the effectiveness of the Ticket to Work program and submit reports to Congress with findings and recommendations to improve the program.
The law required that we provide reports on the evaluation to Congress through 2007. In May 2003, we awarded two five-year contracts to Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. to conduct the evaluation of the Ticket to Work program. The first contract focuses on data development, qualitative data collection, and implementation of the comprehensive evaluation analyses. The second contract implements a survey of beneficiaries. The agency significantly modified the Ticket to Work program in 2008. We extended the evaluation of the Ticket to Work program to address these changes. We transmitted the project's first, second, and third evaluation reports to Congress. The Fourth TTW Evaluation Report and the ten papers that comprise the Fifth TTW Evaluation Report are complete. Papers from the Sixth TTW Evaluation Report are available, and we will post additional papers of the Sixth and Seventh TTW Evaluation Report as they are completed. The annual National Beneficiary Surveys (NBS) for 2004 through 2007 are complete and we fielded an additional round after the new regulations went into effect in 2008. The seventh evaluation report will be the final evaluation report.
The First WIPA Evaluation Report, the Second WIPA Evaluation Report, and the Third WIPA Evaluation Report Part 1 and Third WIPA Evaluation Report Part 2 are included in the Ticket to Work Evaluation reports.
For more information, continue to Ticket to Work Evaluation Reports.
The National Beneficiary Survey is part of the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) evaluation of the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency program (TTW). The NBS collects data on knowledge of TTW, participation in TTW, program experiences of beneficiaries who use their Tickets, and perceptions about TTW and other SSA programs designed to help beneficiaries with disabilities find and keep jobs. Though some sections of the NBS ask about beneficiary activity directly related to TTW, most of the survey captures more general information on SSA beneficiaries, including their disabilities, interest in work, employment, barriers to work, and use of services. In an effort to ensure that the survey represents the full range of beneficiary perspectives, the survey is fielded using procedures that accommodate the needs of respondents with all kinds of disabilities. The first three rounds of the NBS were conducted in 2004, 2005, and 2006. The fourth round of the NBS is being conducted in 2010.
For more information, continue to the NBS page.
In 2009, SSA commissioned a report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of The National Academies on the criteria that SSA uses to evaluate disability in persons with HIV infection. The IOM published the report, HIV and Disability: Updating the Social Security Listings, in 2010. The report recommended ways to improve the utility of the HIV infection listings by improving the sensitivity and specificity of listing criteria for evaluating HIV infection.
To view the full report, continue to the HIV Report.
In 2009, SSA commissioned a report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of The National Academies on the criteria that SSA uses to evaluate disability in persons with cardiovascular disorders. The IOM published the report, Cardiovascular Disability: Updating the Social Security Listings, in 2010. The report recommended ways to improve the utility of the cardiovascular listings by improving the sensitivity and specificity of listing criteria for evaluating cardiovascular disorders.
To view the full report, continue to the Cardiovascular Report.