The Accelerated Benefits Demonstration project will provide immediate health benefits and employment supports when appropriate to certain newly entitled Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries. Under current law most SSDI beneficiaries must wait 24 months after cash benefits begin before they become eligible for Medicare. Thus, many people have no health insurance and therefore, have limited access to medical care during a period of time when access to those resources might serve to help improve their medical condition and thereby increase their ability to improve their self-sufficiency through employment.

State(s) / Location(s) Involved

Phase I – New York, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Houston
Phase II – To be determined

How does it Work

On January 20, 2006, the research organization MDRC was awarded the contract to implement and evaluate the Accelerated Benefits demonstration.

Beneficiaries selected for the demonstration project will be randomly assigned to one of three groups: one group will be provided health benefits, a second group will be provided health benefits and receive additional support under a care management model, and a third group will be a control group that will be used as comparison to see if the intervention provides results in a difference in health and employment outcomes. The target population will be newly entitled SSDI beneficiaries who might benefit from immediate and continued medical care.  Providing this treatment could result in improving their medical condition and thereby increasing the likelihood that they will be able to return to work and improve their self-sufficiency.

What are SSA's Expectations?

The historical rate of return to work for SSDI beneficiaries is relatively low. We believe that this might be the result of deteriorating medical conditions due to lack of treatment while beneficiaries await entitlement to Medicare.

This research is designed to show that short term investment in health care for newly entitled SSDI beneficiaries might have long term pay-offs, in terms of improving their medical conditions and increasing the likelihood that they will return to work. The project will help SSA determine the costs and benefits associated with providing immediate medical benefits to these individuals.

 


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