Seventh TTW Evaluation Report

Mathematica Policy Research Inc.    [Disclaimer] has completed the following report as part of the Ticket to Work Evaluation.

Executive Summary of the Seventh Ticket to Work Evaluation Report,” Final Report.

July 2013

In this summary, we present the key findings from seven studies in the seventh and final Ticket to Work (TTW) evaluation report.  These studies compare TTW program experiences before and after we implemented the revised regulations, extend prior analyses of the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program, and update the general employment efforts of working-age SSI and DI beneficiaries.  Three of the four TTW-focused studies assess the experiences of employment networks (EN) and beneficiaries after we implemented the revised TTW regulations, and a fourth re-estimates the impact of the original program on beneficiary service use and employment using new methods intended to improve the precision of those estimates.  The two reports specific to the WIPA program provide an update on program activities that occurred during the April 2010–March 2011 period and assess the employment-related outcomes of a cohort of WIPA users.  The remaining study in this series documents the 2010 National Beneficiary Survey methodology and provides descriptive statistics about the characteristics and employment-related activities of all SSI and DI beneficiaries.  Collectively, these seven studies constitute the seventh report of the TTW program evaluation.

“Initial Impacts of the Ticket to Work Program for Young New Social Security Disability Awardees: Estimates Based on Randomly Assigned Mail Months,”Final Report.     Appendix G (Separate file due to size)

July 2013

This report presents results from a new analysis of the impacts of introducing the original TTW program before the regulatory changes of July 2008.  An earlier analysis produced evidence that the TTW program had positive impacts on service enrollment, but methodological limitations led to ambiguous conclusions about impacts on earnings and benefits.  The new analysis substantially resolves these ambiguities by exploiting variation in when tickets were mailed within each of the three rollout phases.  It focuses on a subgroup of beneficiaries who, based on earlier findings, seem most likely to use their ticket: new Social Security Disability beneficiaries under age 40.

“Participant and Provider Outcomes Since the Inception of Ticket to Work and the Effects of the 2008 Regulatory Changes,”Final Report

July 2013

This report provides statistics on employment and benefit outcomes for TTW participants since the inception of the program in 2002 and compares them to outcomes for other Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries (nonparticipants).  We produce statistics on changes in work activity and payments to ENs following revisions to the TTW program regulations in July 2008.  The report also provides statistics on payments to ENs under the payment systems introduced under TTW and how beneficiary employment outcomes and related provider payments vary by the nature of the EN business model.

We have summarized the major findings of this paper in two disability policy briefs, New Evidence on the Role of Provider Business Model in the Economic Viability of Employment Networks Under Ticket to Work and Regulatory Changes and the Recession: How Did They Affect Ticket to Work Participants’ Employment Efforts?”

Ticket to Work After the Release of the 2008 Revised Regulations: Progress and Prospects”Final Report

September 2012

This report describes changes to the TTW program since spring 2010, ongoing activities by the agency and its contractors to implement and support the program, and beneficiary and provider participation.  In July 2008, we significantly changed the regulations that govern TTW in an effort to make it more attractive to providers.  Since then, we have continued to make changes to program rules and practices, including the introduction of a new EN contract in mid-2011, which requires ENs to meet higher standards to participate.  This report assesses to what extent the 2008 regulatory changes and more recent activities have been successful in encouraging provider and beneficiary participation.

“Ticket to Work Participant Characteristics and Outcomes Under the Revised Regulations,” Final Report

September 2012

In July 2008, we implemented regulation changes to the Ticket to Work (TTW) program to increase the financial incentives for service providers to participate in the program. This report compares the characteristics and outcomes of two groups of TTW participants – those who assigned their Tickets before we implemented the revised regulations, and those who assigned their Tickets after. In this report, we assess whether the group that assigned their Tickets before the regulation changes is the same or different from the group that assigned their Tickets after in terms of the characteristics of beneficiaries, the types and intensity of services received, the employment expectations and outcomes of TTW participants, and participant satisfaction with TTW. We also provide updated information about the characteristics and employment-related outcomes of TTW participants based on data in the 2010 National Beneficiary Survey (NBS), analogous to the detailed statistics on TTW participants based on earlier rounds of the NBS and presented in previous TTW evaluation reports.

We have summarized the major findings of this paper in a disability policy brief, “Ticket to Work Participants: Then and Now.

“2010 National Beneficiary Survey: Methodology and Descriptive Statistics,” Final Report

April 2012

In this paper, we provide a description of the sampling design and the data collection activities for Round 4 (2010) of the Social Security Administration (SSA) National Beneficiary Survey (NBS). The NBS collects data from a national sample of working-age (age 18 to 64) DI and SSI beneficiaries and a sample of TTW participants. We have completed four rounds of the NBS, in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2010. In this paper, we update the descriptive statistics from the appendices to earlier TTW evaluation reports. In this paper we do not analyze the NBS data, but rather provide a data resource to support the analyses conducted in other papers for the seventh report. It also provides general statistics for Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities and TTW program participants.

Third WIPA Evaluation Report:

Third WIPA Evaluation Report Part 1: “Evaluation of Recent Experience of the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Program: Beneficiaries Served, Services Provided and Program Costs,” Final Report

September 2011

This report presents findings on the activities of the 103 organizations receiving Social Security Administration grants under the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program from April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011. The WIPA program was established in 2006 and was tasked by the agency to "disseminate accurate information to beneficiaries with disabilities ….about work incentives programs and issues related to such programs," with the ultimate goal of such assistance being to “assist SSA beneficiaries with disabilities succeed in their return to work efforts.” The findings presented in this report update results presented in the Second WIPA Evaluation Report. This report follows beneficiaries who first contacted a WIPA project from April 1, 2010, to March 31, 2011 and documents the characteristics of those who use WIPA services. It also documents the work incentives, benefits, and services that community work incentive coordinators discussed with or suggested to beneficiaries and assesses the extent to which beneficiaries who enrolled in WIPA services had sustained contact with WIPA projects. Finally, this report relates output measures, such as the number of beneficiaries enrolled in WIPA, to the amount of funding each WIPA project receives to determine its relative performance. 

Third WIPA Evaluation Report Part 2: “Employment-Related Outcomes of a Recent Cohort of Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Program Enrollees,” Final Report

September 2011


We based the findings presented in the original version of this report in part on data from the 2010 Ticket Research File (TRF). After we approved the report, the agency revised the variables in the 2010 TRF reflecting nonpayment status following a suspension or termination because of work (NSTW). In this version of the report, we have updated the original findings using the revised variables. Although specific statistics related to NSTW and benefits forgone for work have changed slightly, the general findings and conclusions of the report have not changed. [Posted: February 2013.]

This report presents an analysis of beneficiaries who first enrolled for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) services between October 1, 2009, and March 31, 2010. We based the analysis on data collected by the individual WIPA programs matched to our records. The findings include the services they received, their use of social security work supports, employment, earnings, benefit reductions due to earnings, and the likelihood that they left the disability rolls during the period following WIPA program entry and the end of December 2010.