State(s) / Location(s) Involved

Colorado, Florida, Maryland, New York (Bronx and Erie), and West Virginia


The purpose of YTD is to assist youths, aged 14 to 25, with disabilities to successfully transition from school to economic self-sufficiency. These youths are those who receive SSI or SSDI payments based on their own disability, or who are at risk of receiving SSI or SSDI benefits. Successful transitions include pursuing a post-secondary education or employment. Through agreements with community-based agencies at six sites in five States, YTD provides a broad array of transition-related services and supports to participants. The YTD staff also establishes partnerships with other agencies and with employers to improve employment and educational outcomes. Services include:

  1. Individualized work-based experiences,
  2. Youth empowerment,
  3. Family supports,
  4. System linkages,
  5. Social and health services, and
  6. Benefits counseling.

Recognizing that a major barrier to employment for youths with disabilities is the fear of losing Social Security benefits, the YTD provides five waivers of program rules designed to allow participants to keep more of their earnings and encourage both savings and their continued education. These waivers allow:

  1. Student Earned Income Exclusions regardless of age while in school.
  2. Earned Income Exclusions of $65 plus $3 of every $4 earned.
  3. Individual Development Accounts to save earnings plus funds from government and local providers.
  4. Plans for Achieving Self-Support for career exploration and post-secondary education.
  5. Benefits to continue regardless of Continuing Disability Reviews and Age 18 Medical Redetermination results.

Related Links

YTD Project Descriptions
YTD Waiver Descriptions
Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation Articles
Project Evaluation Design Report
Profiles of Random Assignment Projects Report
Implementation Lessons from the Original Project Report
YTD Cooperative Agreement Sites - Status and Reports
Interim Reports
24-Month Follow-Up: Colorado, CUNY, and Erie
Final Report: Youth Transition Demonstration (YTD)


All sites (Colorado, Bronx NY, Erie NY, Florida, Maryland, and West Virginia) completed their YTD participation and services as of March 2012. The 12 month post random assignment reports for all the YTD sites are now available to the public.