Substantial Gainful Activity Project

Innovating Services, Improving Outcomes: A VR Model for Serving SSDI Clients

Mathematica, ICI, and CSAVR
Date/Time [EST]: 
09/28/2017 - 1:00pm
As the main source of job services for people with disabilities, state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies have the potential to help people receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) become more independent and economically successful. But recent research suggests that VR services for these individuals could be improved. Although SSDI beneficiaries who receive VR services see their earnings increase, only a small share earn enough to leave the disability rolls.
To this end, the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts-Boston and Mathematica Policy Research received a grant from the Rehabilitation Services Administration to develop the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) Project Demonstration. This demonstration focused on improving employment outcomes for state VR clients who receive SSDI.
Mathematica’s Center for Studying Disability Policy hosted this webinar featuring a panel of experts. The panel discussed the experiences of VR agencies in Kentucky and Minnesota that implemented the SGA Project innovations, which were designed to help beneficiaries prepare for and find jobs with earnings high enough to leave the disability rolls.
  • Gina Livermore, moderator (Mathematica)
  • Susan Foley (Institute for Community Inclusion)
  • Joe Marrone (Institute for Community Inclusion)
  • Purvi Sevak (Mathematica)
  • Todd Honeycutt (Mathematica)
  • Steve Wooderson, discussant (Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation) 

SSDI Success Stories

The SSDI Success Stories are a series of short films, featuring people with disabilities who have gotten off of Social Security cash benefits and are working in the community. The films are part of ICI’s Substantial Gainful Activity Project, and hosted on the ExploreVR site. In them, ICI staff interview people with disabilities who used to collect cash benefits from Social Security, and have since found full-time employment and gone off those benefits.