Panel Paper: Long-Term Impact Findings from SSA’s Youth Transition Demonstration

Saturday, November 10, 2018
8224 - Lobby Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Jeffrey Hemmeter, Social Security Administration

From 2005-2014, the Social Security Administration (SSA) fielded the Youth Transition Demonstration (YTD) to support the transition to adulthood of youths ages 14-25 receiving or at risk of receiving Supplemental Security Income or Disability Insurance. YTD included six separate projects in: Erie County, NY; Bronx County, NY; Colorado; Miami-Dade, FL; Montgomery County, MD; and West Virginia. The projects provided different sets of specific services, but all included elements of: individualized work-based experiences, youth empowerment, family supports, systems linkages, and benefits counseling. Additionally, youth were eligible for waivers which modified SSA’s program rules. The impacts of the YTD projects were evaluated using a rigorous random assignment methodology and the final report from Mathematica Policy Research found mixed results across the six projects. While youth income (defined as earnings plus benefits) increased in almost all sites three years after enrollment, in only some sites did the intervention result in an increase in paid employment, earnings, or participation in productive activities (defined as employment, education, or training). However, YTD was intended to assist youth achieve improved long-term outcomes; three years may not have been enough time to see the full the results of the interventions. This paper uses administrative records to follow YTD participants for up to 7 years after enrolling in the program to determine if the YTD interventions has long-lasting or delayed effects on youth employment, earnings, and disability program participation.