Evaluation of the Promoting the Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income PROMISE Grants

Prepared for
Social Security Administration
Adulthood childhood sign

Are you a PROMISE/ASPIRE Survey Participant?


Youth with disabilities who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) face substantial barriers to economic independence in transitioning to adult life. The barriers are related to their health status, social isolation, service needs, and potential loss of disability benefits. As a result, the education and employment outcomes for youth SSI recipients are frequently less favorable than those for their peers without disabilities, leading to greater dependence on public programs and poorer overall economic well-being as adults.

Promoting the Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE)—is a joint initiative of the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the U.S. Departments of Education (ED), Health and Human Services, and Labor. PROMISE sought to address many of the barriers to economic independence faced by youth SSI recipients and their families. As the lead agency for the demonstration, ED funded six model demonstration projects to promote positive changes in education and employment outcomes for the target population. To achieve these outcomes, the PROMISE projects provided innovative educational, vocational, and other services to youth and their families. The projects also made better use of existing resources by improving service coordination among state and local agencies. Youth SSI recipients age 14 to 16 were eligible to enroll in the PROMISE study.

ED provided total funding of approximately $230 million to the following six states or group of states to implement PROMISE projects over a five- to six-year period starting October 2013:

  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Maryland
  • New York
  • Wisconsin
  • The six-state ASPIRE consortium: Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Utah

SSA contracted with Mathematica to evaluate the demonstration. The evaluation, which is based on an experimental research design, addresses whether providing services and supports to SSI children ages 14 through 16 and their families results in better education and employment outcomes. Mathematica will conduct the national evaluation over a nine-year period, from October 2013 through September 2022.

To date the evaluation has documented how each state implemented PROMISE; implementation challenges and successes; PROMISE service delivery outcomes as of three years after study enrollment began; and the impacts of PROMISE on youth and family service use, employment, and other outcomes as of 18 months after their enrollment in PROMISE.

Links to key PROMISE evaluation publications are below.

PROMISE evaluation design:

Process analysis reports for each PROMISE project:

Special topic reports and articles:

Impact reports:

Are you a PROMISE/ASPIRE Survey Participant?

The Social Security Administration is doing a survey of parents and youth who enrolled in in one of the following PROMISE/ASPIRE programs:

  • Arkansas PROMISE
  • ASPIRE Arizona
  • ASPIRE Colorado
  • ASPIRE Montana
  • ASPIRE North Dakota
  • ASPIRE South Dakota
  • ASPIRE Utah
  • California PROMISE
  • Maryland PROMISE
  • New York State PROMISE
  • Wisconsin PROMISE

The Social Security Administration hired Mathematica to help with this survey. Mathematica will send you letters and call you five years after you enrolled in PROMISE to take the survey. Mathematica may also visit your home.

If you have received a letter, call, or visit from Mathematica, please call Mathematica toll-free at 844-306-5011 and do one of three things:

  1. Take the survey. Mathematica will send you a $30 gift card as a thank you for completing the survey.
  2. Schedule a time to take the survey later and someone will call you back when you are ready.
  3. Let us know that you are not interested in participating so we can update our records.

If you have questions about the survey, please call Mathematica at 844-306-5011 or visit the Social Security Administration’s website.