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Center for Studying Disability Policy Research Mathematica Policy Research

Disability Research Consortium:
A cooperative agreement with the Social Security Administration


Forum Archives


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Disability Policy Research Forum Archives: 2013

Revitalization Through Regulation? The Impacts of 2008 Regulatory Changes on the Ticket to Work Program
December 12, 2013

Presentation: Webinar recording (YouTube)
PowerPoint presentation (PDF)


Arif Mamun, Mathematica
Jody Schimmel, Mathematica
David Stapleton, Mathematica
Elaine Gilby for Paul O’Leary, Office of Program Development and Research, Social Security Administration (discussant)

Speaker bios


The Ticket to Work (TTW) program was developed to encourage the nearly 11 million working-age people on the disability rolls to find jobs and become economically self-sufficient. The program seeks to connect these individuals to job-related services via a wide array of qualified providers, called employment networks (ENs). In 2008, the Social Security Administration made several regulatory changes to TTW to boost EN and beneficiary participation in the program.

In this disability policy forum and webinar, we examined:

  • Findings from a rigorous analysis of the impact of TTW on services, employment, and benefits in the years leading up to the regulatory changes
  • Changes in beneficiary participation in TTW after the regulatory changes and the extent to which participants forgo benefits because they are working
  • Changes in EN participation and business models after the regulatory changes
  • The impact of the economic recession and the labor market on participant and provider outcomes in return-to-work efforts

Disability Research and Policy: New Evidence and Promising Ideas
October 15 and 16, 2013

Transcript Day 1 (PDF)
Day 1 PowerPoint presentation (PDF)
Presenter bios
Abstract Session 1
Abstract Session 2

Transcript Day 2 (PDF)

Day 2 PowerPoint presentation (PDF)
Presenter bios
Abstract Session 1
Abstract Session 2


Of the roughly 17.5 million working-age people in the United States living with a disability, nearly 70 percent receive benefits through the Social Security Administration’s disability programs. About 12 percent of all federal spending goes to supporting this population—$357 billion in 2008—and this number continues to increase. But the experience of people within the disability support system is often characterized by fragmented services and poor health and economic outcomes.

The Disability Research Consortium (DRC), a collaborative effort of the Social Security Administration (SSA), Mathematica’s Center for Studying Disability Policy, and the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), is building the evidence base necessary to improve the national disability support system and the lives of people with disabilities, while also reducing the long-term growth in government costs.

New Data on Efforts to Reduce Hospitalization and Nursing Home Care Among High-Risk Medicaid Beneficiaries
June 6, 2013

Presentation: Webinar recording
PowerPoint presentation (PDF)


Angela Gerolamo, Senior Researcher, Mathematica
Jung Kim, Researcher, Mathematica
Greg Peterson, Researcher, Mathematica
James Schuster, Chief Medical Officer, Community Care
Behavioral Health Organization (discussant)

Speaker bios

States across the country are seeking opportunities to reduce costs and improve outcomes for Medicaid beneficiaries.This forum and webcast highlighted new findings on the value of timely access to home- and community-based services (HCBS) for Medicaid beneficiaries at high risk of nursing home admission. In addition, participants addressed new efforts to integrate care for beneficiaries who have chronic health conditions and serious mental illnesses. Our speakers discussed:

  • The effects of wait times for HCBS waivers on non-elderly adults with disabilities in Iowa,
    and the implications of serving wait-listed people on a first-come, first-served basis rather
    than prioritizing based on the risk of institutionalization and amount of HCBS needed.
  • The efforts of two pilot programs in Pennsylvania to reduce emergency department use and hospitalizations by coordinating and integrating physical and behavioral health care for Medicaid beneficiaries
  • Lessons from three models on how to integrate physical and behavioral health care services
    for Medicaid beneficiaries with serious mental illnesses
  • The importance of early intervention and policies that promote integrated care for high-risk
    Medicaid beneficiaries

Young Social Security Disability Beneficiaries and Early Intervention to Increase Their Employment
April 3, 2013

Presentation: Webinar recording
PowerPoint presentation (PDF)


Yonatan Ben-Shalom, Mathematica
Thomas Fraker, Director, YTD evaluation
Richard Luecking President of TransCen, Inc., and Director of YTD Technical Assistance
Mark Donovan, Vice Chairman, Marriott Foundation for
People with Disabilities

Speaker bios
Overview: Over a million individuals under age 40 receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, and many will be dependent on government benefits for the rest of their lives. Policymakers, program administrators, and consumer organizations are increasingly focused on reforming policies and developing programs to help these young people with significant disabilities lead productive, more independent, and fulfilling lives while reducing their reliance on public support.
This forum and webcast highlighted new longitudinal statistics on young adult Social Security disability beneficiaries and interim findings from the Youth Transition Demonstration (YTD) evaluation. Our speakers discussed:
  • New longitudinal statistics on benefit receipt and employment of people who first become
    eligible for Social Security disability benefits as adults but before they turned age 40
  • Interim findings from the YTD evaluation: one-year impacts on employment and earnings
  • Technical assistance for the YTD projects in the design and delivery of employment services
  • Reflections on and potential implications of the interim YTD evaluation findings

Growing Pains:  How Disability, Risky Behaviors, and Expectations During Youth Influence Early Adult Outcomes
February 21, 2013

Presentation: Webinar recording
PowerPoint presentation (PDF)
NEW: Downloadable Podcast (MP3)


Gina Livermore, Mathematica
Todd Honeycutt, Mathematica
David Mann, Mathematica
Carrie Shandra, State University of New York at Stony Brook
Maureen Hollowell Endependence Center, Inc.

Speaker bios
Overview: Youth with disabilities encounter a variety of challenges on the road to adulthood and their education, expectations about the future, and engagement in risky behaviors differ from those of other youth. For example, parenthood by age 20 is significantly more common among girls and young women with mental disabilities than among other females. These differences have implications for key adult outcomes, such as educational attainment and employment. Understanding the progress of youth by examining their choices and behavior is important for grasping how policy changes might help those with disabilities achieve greater success as adults.