The Office of Research, Demonstration, and Employment Support, under the leadership of the Associate Commissioner, is comprised of four separate offices.

The Office of the Associate Commissioner

  • The Associate Commissioner for Research, Demonstration, and Employment Support is directly responsible to the Deputy Commissioner, Retirement and Disability Policy for carrying out the mission of the office and providing general supervision to its major components.
  • The Deputy Associate Commissioner for Research, Demonstration, and Employment Support assists the Associate Commissioner in carrying out his/her responsibilities and performs other duties as the Associate Commissioner may prescribe.
  • The Immediate Office of the Associate Commissioner for Research Demonstration, and Employment Support provides the Associate Commissioner and the Deputy Associate Commissioner with advisory services and staff assistance on the full range of their responsibilities and coordinates the administrative and program activities of ORDES components.

The Office of Employment Support

  • Administers all aspects of the employment support program including contracts for the Ticket Program Manager and Training and Technical assistance to the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) projects. Manages grants and oversight for WIPA and Protections and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS).
  • Manages employment support program payments, including payments to Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies under the Cost Reimbursement Program and Payments to Employment Networks (ENs) under the Ticket to Work Program.
  • Develops, implements, evaluates and maintains regulations and policy on DI and SSI work incentives, and related areas, including areas of inter-component concern such as substantial gainful activity; employment support operational policy; and instructional and other materials on employment services and service provider operations.
  • Maintains all aspects of Ticket Program Agreements for all Ticket to Work Employment Networks and conducts program integrity activities to ensure adherence to agreements.
  • Oversees the Ticket to Work Call Center; the Choose work and Your Ticket to Work Websites; and Ticket Program social media activities on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
  • Develops, in conjunction with the Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Communications, informational materials to increase public understanding and use of work incentives and to support the employment efforts of Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities.
  • Develops, implements, and evaluates employment support program administrative and programmatic improvements, including areas of inter-component concern, such as BPQY process improvements.

The Office of Research and Demonstration

  • Develops, implements, and evaluates disability and SSI-related interventional and other systematic inquiry and research including projects that would encourage work and self-sufficiency.
  • Administers grants, interagency agreements, contracts, and unsolicited proposals for ORDP.
  • Conducts outreach for demonstration projects and other initiatives relevant to program development.
  • Identifies and develops potential research projects that will support future policy initiatives.
  • Reviews current research and determines SSI and disability policy implications.
  • Conducts studies and analyses on the national disabled population, and the interrelationships between SSA’s disability programs, the national economy and other income maintenance programs and employment outcomes, as well as various socioeconomic factors.
  • Formulates Agency policy regarding crosscutting programs or issues related to disability and/or income assistance programs and works with other agencies toward this end.
  • Maintains awareness of issues concerning the broad program policy environment including Congress, the private sector, and other government agencies, and ensures the Agency’s policy and research agendas consider and reflect these points of view.
  • Collaborates with other agencies via working groups to ensure that positive partnerships with are utilized when possible to meet agency goals

The Office of Data Analysis

  • Identifies trends in disability programs and emerging issues and policy implications; conducts studies and analysis on the national disabled population, including applicants for benefits, disability beneficiaries, and disability assessment tools.
  • Compiles and analyzes data on various aspects of the disability and SSI programs, including such areas as SSI youth demonstration projects, denied applicants and work incentives.
  • Directs and conducts methodological research, development and testing, data collection, and applied data analyses, for the Agency’s Occupational Information System (OIS).
  • Supports collaborative research with other government agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health.
  • Develops and manages the statistical models that strengthen our disability programs and improve program integrity.