Return to Work of Disability Insurance Beneficiaries Who Do and Do Not Access State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency Services

Publisher: In Working Toward Success: Special Journal Edition of Disability Policy Studies, vol. 26, no. 2 (subscription required), edited by Yonatan Ben-Shalom and David Wittenburg
Sep 01, 2015
John O'Neill, Arif A. Mamun, Elizabeth Potamites, Fong Chan, and Elizabeth da Silva Cordoso

This study examines the relationship between services provided by state vocational rehabilitation agencies (SVRAs) and return-to-work outcomes of Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) beneficiaries. DI beneficiaries who enrolled in SVRA services were compared with matched and unmatched comparison groups of beneficiaries who did not enroll in these services. We examined the progression to substantial employment milestones for DI beneficiaries over a 10-year period beginning with their entry into the DI program. Employment outcomes of the SVRA enrollee group are substantially better than those of their matched and non-matched non-enrollee counterparts, and the timing of their employment outcomes is strongly associated with the timing of vocational rehabilitation (VR) enrollment. These findings indicate that differences in employment outcomes between DI beneficiaries who received VR services and those who did not are not simply due to observable differences.