Demonstration Projects Update
SSA conducts numerous research and demonstration projects to study ways to improve services to our current and future beneficiaries. These projects can lead to ways to better serve persons with disabilities, as well as potentially changing program rules to allow for better coordination among other federal and state programs.
The Accelerated Benefits Demonstration project provides immediate health benefits and employment supports to certain newly entitled Social Security Disability (SSDI) beneficiaries. Under current law, most SSDI beneficiaries must wait 24 months after cash benefits begin before they become eligible for Medicare. So, many beneficiaries have no health insurance and limited access to medical care during a period of time when access to those resources might help improve their medical condition. By accelerating benefits and receiving treatment earlier, beneficiaries may improve their ability to remain at work or the probability of returning to work. This project ended in January 2011 and the final report is posted at www.ssa.gov/disabilityresearch/accelerated.htm.
BOND tests a $1 reduction in benefits for every $2 in earnings over substantial gainful activity (SGA) levels, in combination with benefits counseling, with the goal of helping beneficiaries with disabilities return-to-work. The demonstration allows beneficiaries to face this gradual reduction in their benefits, eliminating the abrupt loss of cash benefits. We began a pilot of BOND in January 2011 and full implementation began in late April 2011. A final report is due in 2017.
We designed the YTD project to further the goal of increasing employment of persons with disabilities. The YTD focuses on youths ages 14-25 who receive Supplemental Security Income, SSDI, or childhood disability benefits, or who are at heightened risk of becoming eligible for such benefits. YTD sites develop service delivery systems and partnerships with Federal, State, and local entities to assist youth with disabilities to successfully transition from school, which may include post-secondary education, to employment and economic self-sufficiency. All six of the random assignment sites have completed YTD services. The 12-month impact reports for the first three sites have been posted and can be found at www.socialsecurity.gov/disabilityresearch/interimreports.html. We have posted the 12-month impact reports for two of the final three projects. They can be found at www.socialsecurity.gov/disabilityresearch/interimreports.html. We expect to post the 12-month impact report for the last project by January 31, 2013.
To keep up with the latest developments and get information about local contacts, visit our Internet website at: www.socialsecurity.gov/disabilityresearch. This site provides information on major activities such as our demonstration projects work incentive policies, and other relevant resources. You can also sign up to get e-mail notices when we post updates.