What are demonstration projects?

Social Security conducts numerous research and demonstration projects to study ways to improve services to our current and future beneficiaries. We support a number of demonstrations and projects intended to address the broad needs of beneficiaries with disabilities. These projects can lead to ways to better serve individuals with disabilities including potentially changing program rules to allow for better coordination among other Federal and State programs. We also receive funding for projects through specific congressional mandates. These projects support specific program changes or outreach activities targeted to populations in particular need.

Each year, we send a demonstration project report to Congress. The most recent report is the 2022 Annual Report on Section 234 Demonstration Projects.

We held a virtual state of the science meeting in June 2021 to discuss the lessons learned from our past demonstrations. To find out more about the event, including accessing the slides and learning about the planned release of a published volume of the papers in the fall, please see our Lessons Learned project page.

Choose a link in the table below to read information on each of our demonstration projects.
Accelerated Benefits
Benefit Offset - Four-State Pilot
Benefit Offset - National Demonstration
Supported Employment Demonstration
Mental Health Treatment Study
Promoting Opportunity Demonstration
Youth Transition Demonstration (YTD)

As part of our process for developing demonstrations, we may convene Technical Expert Panels (TEPs) to obtain guidance on policy, implementation, and evaluation issues. These TEPs provide a forum for stakeholders and other experts to provide interactive feedback on a proposed demonstration. The TEPs highlight potential barriers to success and suggest alternative strategies to improve upon the original proposals. The reports from these TEPs are in the links below.

Exits from Disability Demonstration
Claimant Representative Demonstration
Post-Entitlement Earnings Simplification Demonstration