In addition to our demonstrations, we conduct other projects examining ways to change and improve the disability process and programs.
- Benefit Offset - Ancillary Research
- Occupational Information System Project
- Organisation of Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)
Pathways to Transitions Project
- Quick Disability Determinations (QDD) Predictive Model and the Fast-Track Processes
- TANF-SSI Disability Transition Project
- Work Incentives Simplification Pilot
We are conducting ancillary research that uses the Benefit Offset National Demonstration data and data from other sources to provide policymakers with additional information on the potential effects of a change in the SSDI program rules that would allow beneficiaries to work and keep a portion of their benefits. The ancillary research falls within two themes. The first is research that will allow us to produce better estimates on the potential for induced entry into the SSDI program resulting from a change in the SSDI program rules. The second is research that will allow us to produce better estimates on the effect of changes in the structure of a benefit offset on costs and benefits of a new SSDI benefit offset policy.
A paper that describes the strengths and limitations of various research designs to estimate induced entry is available here.
A report that develops specific research designs to estimate induced entry is available here.
In our disability adjudication process, we need information about work that exists nationally to determine whether claimants’ impairments prevent them from doing not only their past work, but other work in the U.S. economy. We currently use the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) and its companion volume, the Selected Characteristics of Occupations, as our primary sources of information about jobs and job requirements. However, the Department of Labor (DOL) last updated the DOT in 1991 and has no plans to conduct further updates. As a result, we have signed an interagency agreement with the DOL’s Bureau of Labor Statistics to test the feasibility of using the National Compensation Survey platform to collect updated occupational information that will meet our program needs. For more information about the project, please visit our OIS project page.
We provided funds to help support OECD’s five-year study on Pathways to Transitions for People with Disability into Tertiary Education and Work. The purpose of the Pathways project was to learn more about other developed countries’ special education programs and supports in order to identify best practices that facilitate successful outcomes for students with disabilities in transition from secondary education to tertiary education and work.
The five-year OECD Pathways project included the preparation and analysis of participating country reports, a three-year longitudinal study, and case studies. In addition to the USA, the OECD countries that participated in one or more phases of the Pathways project included: Norway, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Portugal, France, Estonia, and the Republic of Korea.
Information gained from this study will assist in preventing children with disabilities who are not currently on our rolls from eventually becoming beneficiaries once they reach adulthood, providing necessary supports and identifying best practices to help transition youths with disabilities.
For more information on OECD's Youth Transition study, see OECD website at:
The Predictive Model (PM) is a computer-based screening tool used to identify potential electronic cases for the Quick Disability Determination (QDD) process.
The QDD process was implemented in the six States in the Boston Region (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, & Vermont) effective August 2006. The QDD process was implemented nationally between October 2007 and February 2008.
View the final rule in the Federal Register.
For additional information on the QDD Predictive Model, see the QDD Predictive Model homepage . For additional information on the Fast-Track Processes, see the Fast-Track Processes homepage . For the Fast-Track Processes public use files, see the Public Use Files homepage .
TANF-SSI Disability Transition Project
Both welfare agencies and the Federal disability system seek to support people with disabilities and help them become more independent. However, the two systems often have differing missions and organization, definitions of disability, operational and financial issues, and work rules and incentives, making it challenging for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs to work together. TANF clients who apply for SSI may also confront conflicting messages from TANF agencies regarding work requirements and benefit eligibility.
To help us understand the relationship between the TANF and SSI populations and programs better, we worked with the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to launch the TANF-SSI Disability Transition Project (TSDTP) in October 2008. ACF, TANF agencies, low-income individuals with disabilities and their families, and we all benefit from effective and efficient services — moving toward employment when possible, making informed decisions about applying for SSI, receiving SSI as quickly as possible, and reducing administrative costs.
Working with ACF, TANF agencies in California, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, and New York, select counties in these states, and the evaluation firm MDRC, we are currently analyzing program data and pilot-testing several program interventions for TANF clients with disabilities. The project will conclude in June 2013 with our recommendations regarding a larger demonstration project on coordinating TANF and SSI.
For more information, please contact Scott Leverty.
Work Incentives Simplification Pilot
The Work Incentives Simplification Pilot (WISP) is a proposed demonstration to test whether simplifying Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) work incentives would encourage beneficiaries to work. In preparation for WISP, we formed a Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) to advise us on how best to conduct the demonstration. For more information see the WISP TAP report. Under WISP, SSDI beneficiaries will retain benefit eligibility as long as their impairment continues. WISP will encourage beneficiaries to try working by preventing termination of a beneficiary’s entitlement to SSDI and health care benefits solely due to substantial gainful activity (SGA). WISP will not change the definition of disability or the rules for establishing initial eligibility to benefits. It will, however, simplify SSDI rules and remove some of the uncertainty associated with current work attempts. WISP will encourage work by:
- Eliminating the trial work period, extended period of eligibility, expedited reinstatement and other work incentives;
- Paying benefits for months in which earnings are below an earnings threshold equal to the SGA level and suspending benefits for months in which earnings are at or above the threshold;
- Eliminating disability cessation due to work;
- Making the SSDI treatment of earnings more consistent with the SSI program; and
- Maintaining eligibility for SSDI and health benefits as long as the disabling impairment continues