Three-Year Impacts of Services and Work Incentives on Youth with Disabilities

Issue Brief
Publisher: Washington, DC: Center for Studying Disability Policy, Mathematica Policy Research
Apr 17, 2015
Authors
Thomas Fraker, Arif Mamun, and Lori Timmins

Key Findings:

  • Three of the six Youth Transition Demonstration (YTD) projects had positive and statistically significant impacts of approximately 7 percentage points on paid employment during the third year after youth enrolled in the evaluation.
  • Positive impacts on employment were concentrated among the YTD projects that delivered more hours of employment-focused services to higher proportions of treatment group youth.
  • Two of the YTD projects significantly reduced youth contact with the justice system during the third year after enrollment.
  • The YTD project in Miami-Dade County, Florida, had the most consistent statistically significant three-year impacts on youth across a range outcomes: increases in paid employment, earnings, and total income, and reduced contact with the justice system.

The Youth Transition Demonstration, an initiative of the Social Security Administration, provided employment services and enhanced work incentives to young people with severe disabilities in 10 research sites across the country. Mathematica’s evaluation of this initiative involved enrolling 5,103 youth from six of these sites into the study, randomly assigning them to treatment or control groups, and collecting baseline and follow-up data on the enrollees. The findings show that treatment group youth in three of the sites were about 7 percentage points more likely than their control group counterparts to have worked for pay during the third year after study enrollment. Those differences—the estimated impacts of the demonstration projects on youth in the three sites—are statistically significant.