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A contract was awarded to MDRC to implement and evaluate the Accelerated Benefits Demonstration project. The Accelerated Benefits project will provide immediate health benefits to certain newly entitled SSDI beneficiaries who have medical conditions that are expected to improve (MIE designation), or might improve (MIP designation) with appropriate medical care. Participants will also receive employments supports when and as needed. The kick-off meeting is scheduled for mid-February.
January 16, 2006
Pediatric Medical Units
SSA awarded a contract to the Association of University Centers on Disabilities to design, implement, and evaluate Pediatric Medical Units (PMUs). PMUs will take the most difficult childhood disability applications and provide assistance to DDSs on how to obtain the appropriate medical evidence to allow disability examiners to make a decision as early in the adjudication process as possible.
January 11, 2006
Vocational Expert Study Panel
SSA awarded a contract to SSDC Corporation to convene an expert panel of vocational and occupational medical experts and disability policy and program experts. This study panel will review the value and efficiency of using vocational experts at various levels of the disability determination process.
The purpose of this study is to 1) assess the current use of vocational and occupational medical expertise throughout SSA’s disability determination process; 2) determine how to provide needed vocational and occupational medical expertise at all levels of the disability determination process to improve the quality of case adjudication; 3) determine how the needed expertise should be provided; and 4) determine what qualifications vocational and occupational medical experts should have.
The duration of this project is approximately eight months.
January 6, 2006
Mental Health Treatment Study
Project sites across the nation have been selected for the Mental Health Treatment Study (MHTS). (Please see the table below). The MHTS will test the impact that better access to treatment and other supports have on outcomes such as medical recovery, functioning, employment, and benefit receipt for SSDI beneficiaries with schizophrenia and affective disorder as a primary impairment.
|Bridgeport, CT||Chicago, IL|
|Norwich, CT||Peoria, IL|
|Manchester, NH||Spring Lake Park, MN|
|Framingham, MA||Lorain, OH|
|New York, NY||Indianapolis, IN|
|Bethesda, MD||San Antonio, TX|
|Washington, DC||Kansas City, KS|
|Ft. Lauderdale, FL||Denver, CO|
|St. Petersburg, FL||Vancouver, WA|
OPDR posted a Request for Proposals for the implementation and evaluation of the California HIV/Auto-Immune Demonstration Project on FedBizOpps. The purpose of this demonstration is to provide immediate access to healthcare services and resources required for a successful return to work. The health benefits will be designed to provide beneficiaries with HIV/AIDS, immune or auto-immune disorders with health coverage to ensure they receive adequate medical treatment for their impairments. Project participants will also receive comprehensive employment support service coordination. Each beneficiary enrolled will be assessed to determine the types of services and/or interventions needed for a sustained and successful return to work. An Expert Medical Unit, comprised of medical specialists in the HIV/auto-immune field, will be established to provide expert guidance regarding issues relevant to this population.
February 16, 2006
Federal Register Notice
A Federal Register notice announcing SSA's intention to seek OMB clearance for the Mental Health Treatment Study was published. The notice solicits comments on the accuracy of its reporting burden estimate, the need for the information, and on ways to improve the collection.
February 15, 2006
Expedited Reinstatement (EXR)
OPDR published revised EXR procedures in the Program Operations Manual System (POMS). These POMS (DI 13050 and DI 28057) contain significant revisions that reflect the regulatory changes enacted in recent EXR final rules. The POMS also contain numerous policy and case processing clarifications that will help the FOs, DDSs, and PCs process EXR cases in a more efficient manner.
February 1, 2006
New Website Section
Information on the National Survey on SSI Children and Families (NSCF) can now be found on the Data & Research page. The SSA-sponsored survey collected information on over 3000 children and families who were receiving SSI, had received SSI, or were applying for SSI.
The Second Ticket to Work Evaluation report is now available in the Data & Research section.
OPDR staff held its Second Annual Homeless Outreach Projects and Evaluation (HOPE) Conference on April 18-19, 2006 at the Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. There were approximately 180 attendees that included all 41 HOPE grantees, SSA Regional Offices, SSA Field Offices and DDS liaisons, Project Officers, and the Office of Acquisitions and Grants Management Staff.
Martin Gerry, the Deputy Commissioner for the Office of Disability and Income Security Programs, opened the conference. Day one speakers included: Philip Mangano, Executive Director of the US Interagency Council on Homelessness; Brian Fitzmaurice, Department of Housing and Urban Development; Allen Taylor, Department of Veterans Affairs; Gordon Burke, Department Of Labor. On day two Dennis Culhane, Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania spoke on the Dynamics of Homelessness.
The Final Rules for Helping Blind and Disabled Individuals Achieve Self-Support (PASS) was published and will be effective June 15, 2006. This rule implements Section 301 of the Social Security Independence and Program Improvements Act of 1994 that allows taking an individual's personal needs into account when setting a time limit for a plan to achieve self support. This policy is already reflected in our operating procedures.
The State Partnership Initiative (SPI) evaluation report and conclusions document have been added to the Data & Research section.
June 9, 2006
Site Update: Red Book
The online version of the 2006 Red Book is now available at:
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/redbook. (Please note that this link will open a new window.)
OPDR hosted a presentation by Richard Dorsett, Principal Research Fellow and head of quantitative research at the Policy Studies Institute in London. Mr. Dorsett is lead evaluator for “Pathways to Work," a package of measures aimed at encouraging work among those claiming sickness and disability benefits in the United Kingdom (UK).
The presentation provides an overview of sickness and disability benefits in the UK and shows the key trends that have prompted policy attention to focus on this area. The main elements of the Pathways program are described and early results presented. The interim findings suggest that the intervention has been effective in increasing employment and earnings in the UK.
For more information on the Pathways to Work evaluation, view the PowerPoint presentation.
Five new sites will be selected for participation in the pilot phase of the Youth Transition Demonstration (YTD) national random assignment evaluation. For organizations interested in sponsoring new YTD projects, the last day to request information about the application process will be August 15, 2006. Interested parties should send their requests to email@example.com. Visit the YTD page for further information.
The Office of the Chief Actuary has posted the automatic increase amounts for 2007. These figures are available at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/COLA/index.html
The Office of Program, Development and Research (OPDR) at the Social Security Administration (SSA) is pleased to announce that the new Youth Transition Demonstration (YTD) project sites have been selected. After a rigorous pilot operation period and assessment process, SSA OPDR staff and the evaluation team at Mathematica Policy Research (MPR) have selected the following three pilot projects for inclusion in the full YTD evaluation:
- The Broadened Horizons Brighter Futures Program operated by Abilities, Inc; Miami Dade County, FL (Abilities)
- The Career Transition Program operated by St. Luke’s House, Montgomery; County, MD (CTP)
- Career Options operated by the Human Resources Development Foundation, West Virginia (HRDF)
These projects will begin full rollout and project operations in fall 2007 and hope to be collecting samples by early 2008.