Potential Strategies to Improve the Employment Outcomes of Youth SSI Recipients

Publisher: Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research
Apr 18, 2018
Authors
Todd Honeycutt, David Wittenburg, Richard Luecking, Kelli Crane, and David R. Mann

Key Findings:

  • The Youth Transition Demonstration (YTD) evaluation provides the most comprehensive information about promising strategies to improve the employment outcomes of youth SSI recipients and points to the potential for employment services to influence outcomes for this population.
  • Random assignment evaluations of federal demonstrations for individuals receiving adult SSI and Social Security Disability Insurance show the positive impacts of case management, health plans, supported employment, work incentives, and other supports.
  • Various strategies targeted to youth and young adults with disabilities show consistent promising evidence on employment outcomes, though much of this evidence is based primarily on descriptive or non-experimental studies, and a larger number have involved transition programs that provide participants with employment services coupled with other services.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of the Disability Employment Policy and its federal partners seek to build the evidence base for promising strategies to improve the employment outcomes for youth ages 14 to 24 who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This report documents promising strategies to promote sustained, gainful employment for youth SSI recipients. An important challenge is that there is no single way to identify the most promising of the reviewed strategies. Testing strategies for youth SSI recipients could range from smaller interventions to large-scale demonstration projects. Smaller intervention tests could involve current innovations in evaluation techniques, such as behavioral nudges, rapid-cycle evaluations, and technical assistance integrated with strategies, that encourage specific practices or outcomes. Larger demonstration projects might build from existing large Social Security Administration demonstrations targeted to youth SSI recipients, which would provide evidence on a larger set of interventions at a much higher cost.