State(s) / Location(s) Involved

Participants from 30 urban and rural-urban mixed catchment areas at community mental health agency sites across the U.S. are enrolling participants in the demonstration and are providing the interventions.

SED Sites are located in these states: California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Start / Enrollment Date

October 2017.



The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015 (Pub. L. 113-235) appropriated funds to design, develop, and implement an early intervention demonstration to test innovative strategies aimed at helping people with disabilities remain in the workforce.

In August 2016, SSA awarded a contract to Westat, Inc. to implement and evaluate whether offering evidence-based interventions of integrated vocational, medical, and behavioral health services to individuals with behavioral health challenges can significantly reduce the demand for disability benefits and help individuals remain in the labor force.

The Supported Employment Demonstration (SED) will use a random assignment design to assign 3,000 participants to one of two treatment groups (Full Services or Basic Services) or to a control group (Usual Services).  For 36 months, participants will receive varying degrees of services based on their assignment.  These services include systematic medication management, health care management and care-coordination services, and long-term employment services following the evidence-based Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model. 


Individuals aged 18 to 50 years who want to work; who applied for disability benefits (DI or SSI) alleging mental impairment in the past 30-60 days; and who received an initial denial decision from SSA.


The SED period of performance is from August 2016 through August 2022.

Related Links

The Federal Expert Panel Report summarizes the panel’s recommendations from a June 2015 meeting.


  • Early Assessment Report assessing implementation a year after enrollment begins (2018);
  • Process Report (2019),  Participation Report (2020), and Impact and Cost-Benefit Report (2022); and
  • Preparation of evaluation reports and public-use data files (2022)


The SED obtained OMB final clearance. Recruitment and enrollment is underway at SED project sites.