Youth Transition Demonstration

This is an archival or historical document and may not reflect current policies or procedures.

State(s) / Location(s) Involved

Colorado, Florida, Maryland, New York (Bronx and Erie), and West Virginia


The purpose of the Youth Transition Demonstration (YTD) was to assist youths, aged 14 to 25, with disabilities to successfully transition from school to economic self-sufficiency. The beneficiaries who participated in this demonstration were youths who were receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments based on their own disability, or who were at risk of receiving SSI or SSDI benefits. We completed the final report in September 2014.

Successful transitions included pursuing a post-secondary education or employment. Through agreements with community-based agencies at six sites in five States, YTD provided a broad array of transition-related services and supports to participants. The YTD staff also established partnerships with other agencies and with employers to improve employment and educational outcomes. Services included:

  1. Individualized work-based experiences,
  2. Youth empowerment,
  3. Family supports,
  4. System linkages,
  5. Social and health services, and
  6. Benefits counseling.

Recognizing that a major barrier to employment for youths with disabilities is the fear of losing Social Security benefits, the YTD provided five waivers of program rules designed to allow participants to keep more of their earnings and encourage both savings and their continued education. These waivers allowed:

  1. Student Earned Income Exclusions regardless of age while in school,
  2. Earned Income Exclusions of $65 plus $3 of every $4 earned,
  3. Individual Development Accounts to save earnings plus funds from government and local providers,
  4. Plans for Achieving Self-Support for career exploration and post-secondary education, and
  5. Benefits to continue regardless of Continuing Disability Reviews and Age 18 Medical Redetermination results.

Related Links

YTD Project Descriptions
YTD Waiver Descriptions
Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation Articles
Project Evaluation Design Report
Profiles of Random Assignment Projects Report
Implementation Lessons from the Original Project Report
YTD Cooperative Agreement Sites - Status and Reports
Interim Reports
24-Month Follow-Up
Final Report: Youth Transition Demonstration (YTD)


All sites (Colorado, Bronx NY, Erie NY, Florida, Maryland, and West Virginia) completed their YTD participation and services as of March 2012. The 12-month post random assignment reports for all the YTD sites are now available to the public.  We completed the final report in November 2014, and it also is now available to the public.  We will reanalyze project outcomes periodically, including a cost-benefit analysis, to determine the long run impacts and whether there were cost savings. We will post these results here as they become available.