State(s) / Location(s) Involved

We expect to conduct this project in eight sites across the country:

  • Alabama (all counties);
  • California (Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego counties);
  • Connecticut (all counties);
  • Maryland (Anne Arundel, Baltimore,  Harford, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George’s counties; Baltimore City);
  • Michigan (Kent, Ionia, Clinton, Eaton, Shiawassee, Genesee and Lapeer counties);
  • Nebraska (Adams, Buffalo, Douglas, Hall, Lancaster, and Sarpy counties);
  • Texas (Bexar, Dallas, and Tarrant counties); and
  • Vermont (all counties).

Start / Enrollment Date

Early 2018

Description

Summary

The Promoting Opportunity Demonstration (POD) will test simplified work incentives and a benefit offset in the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program to determine its effects on outcomes such as earnings, employment, and benefit payments.  Section 823 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 directs the agency to carry out POD. 

We will reduce benefits by $1 for every $2 earned above the POD threshold, which is the greater of the current Trial Work Period level or the amount of a participant’s itemized impairment-related work expenses (up to Substantial Gainful Activity).  We are using a random assignment design to assign 15,000 volunteers to three groups of approximately 5,000 beneficiaries each, a control group and two treatment groups.  The control group continues under usual rules.  Treatment group 1 is subject to the offset and we will suspend benefits for any months SSDI benefits are reduced to zero.  Treatment group 2 is subject to the offset and we will terminate SSDI entitlement when benefits are reduced to zero for 12 consecutive months.  Both treatment groups are eligible for POD-specific benefits counseling. 

We awarded contracts to Abt Associates for the implementation and to Mathematica Policy Research for the evaluation of POD.

Duration

Enrollment will begin in early 2018 and continue on a rolling basis through December 2018.  The project will end for all remaining participants on June 30, 2021. 

Related Links

The Promoting Opportunity Demonstration Technical Expert Panel Report summarizes the feedback from an April 2016 meeting.

Status

We are finalizing preparations for project rollout in early 2018.