The YTD develops and evaluates promising strategies that help youths with disabilities successfully transition from school to adult self-sufficiency. The demonstration is implemented through community organizations in five states.
What States/Locations Are Involved?
All sites (in Colorado, Bronx NY, Erie NY, Florida, Maryland, and West Virginia) have completed their YTD participation and services as of March 2012.
How does it work?
Each organization develops and carries out its own broad range of interventions targeted toward helping disabled SSI and SSDI beneficiaries, aged 14-25, move from secondary school to post-secondary education or employment. These interventions include employment and education counseling, job placement services, benefits counseling, and financial planning.
Recognizing that a major barrier to employment for youths with disabilities is the fear of losing Social Security benefits, the YTD provides five waivers of program rules designed to allow youths to keep more of their earnings and encourage savings, and to encourage their continued education. These waivers allow:
- Student Earned Income Exclusions regardless of age while in school.
- Earned Income Exclusions of $65 plus $3 of every $4 earned.
- Individual Development Accounts to save earnings plus funds from government and local providers.
- Plans for Achieving Self-Support for career exploration and post secondary education.
- Benefits to continue regardless of Continuing Disability Reviews and Age 18 Medical Redetermination results.
We awarded Mathematica Policy Research (MPR) a national evaluation contact in September 2005. MPR has responsibility for the development and oversight of the YTD projects, as well as for conducting a rigorous evaluation of the demonstration. The demonstration uses a random assignment model, and we will follow participants for at least four years after we recruit them into the demonstration. In the evaluation, we will use a variety of data sources, including surveys, interviews, SSA administrative data, and project participation data to determine whether interventions lead to increased earnings or increased enrollment in postsecondary education for participants.
What are SSA's Expectations?
The YTD will generate evidence on the impacts of the waivers and enhanced coordination of services to youths with disabilities. SSA expects this evidence to form the centerpiece for policy development with respect to transitions for SSI and SSDI youths with disabilities.
For More Information
Please visit our website at http://www.ssa.gov/disabilityresearch/youth.htm