Innovating VR Services to Improve Outcomes for SSDI Clients: Findings from the SGA Project Demonstration (Research Brief)

Publisher: Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research
Sep 28, 2017
Matthew Kehn, Gina Livermore, and Eric Morris

Key Findings:

  • The innovations significantly increased the likelihood of applicants’ obtaining a signed IPE within 30 days of application in both states
  • The innovations significantly increased closure with competitive employment and SGA-level earnings in Kentucky but not in Minnesota
  • The random assignment design used in the demonstration is a feasible approach that other VR agencies could use to rigorously test the effectiveness of service delivery innovations
  • An important implication of the findings for other VR agencies is that a faster pace of VR services is possible without negative consequences

The SGA Project demonstration involved the design, implementation, and testing of innovations designed to improve the employment outcomes of nonblind state vocational rehabilitation (VR) clients receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Two states—Kentucky and Minnesota—participated in the demonstration. This brief summarizes findings on their experiences in implementing the SGA Project innovations and client outcomes during the first two years of the demonstration. The innovations significantly increased the pace of VR services, level of client engagement, closure with competitive employment and with SGA-level earnings in one or both states.