Panel Paper: Developing ROI Estimates for the Public-Sector Vocational Rehabilitation Program

Thursday, November 8, 2012 : 10:35 AM
McKeldon (Sheraton Baltimore City Center Hotel)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

David Dean, University of Richmond

Title: Developing ROI Estimates for the Public-Sector Vocational Rehabilitation Program



David Dean                 University of Richmond           

John Pepper                 University of Virginia               

Robert Schmidt           University of Richmond           

Steven Stern                University of Virginia               



Abstract: The public-sector Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program is a $3 billion federal-state partnership designed to provide employment-related assistance to persons with disabilities. There is, however, relatively little known about the long-term efficacy of VR programs. This paper utilizes unique and detailed administrative and employment data to examine both short and longer-term employment impacts for separate cohorts of persons with either physical impairments, mental illness, or cognitive impairments who applied for VR services in the state of Virginia in State Fiscal Year 2000. These data provide quarterly information on VR services and employment outcomes from 1995 to 2010.  Results from our model of service provision and labor market outcomes provide five and ten-year ROI estimates and reveal that VR services generally have positive long-run labor market outcome effects that appear to substantially exceed the cost of providing services.