Describes the implementation and findings of three promising pilot interventions of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)/Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Disability Transition Project (TSDTP).

“In order to understand how to best to help TANF recipients with disabilities, [the Administration of Children and Families] ACF and [Social Security Administration] SSA contracted with MDRC to conduct the TANF/SSI Disability Transition Project (TSDTP).  The goals of the TSDTP are to explore the connection between the two programs, build knowledge about ways to encourage work among TANF recipients with disabilities, facilitate informed decisions about applying for SSI when appropriate, and help eligible SSI applicants receive awards as quickly as possible while also reducing administrative costs” (p.v).  This is an area of interest for both agencies because both agencies share goals for supporting vulnerable populations and encouraging their self-sufficiency and employment, however, the agencies’ “differing missions, definitions of disability, and rules and incentives related to work pose challenges to clients trying to navigate their way through both programs and to staff members seeking to coordinate their efforts” (p.v).  For this effort, the TSDTP “conducted field assessments of existing services for TANF recipients who may have disabilities, tested pilot programs targeted to this populations, and analyzed national- and state-level program data”.  This was the second report from this project (p.v). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Full Publication Title: The TANF/SSI Disability Transition Project: Innovative Strategies for Serving TANF Recipients with Disabilities

Major Findings & Recommendations

• “Ramsey County, Minnesota, developed a pilot program to increase employment among TANF recipients with work limitations and disabilities…following the Integrated Placement and Support (IPS) model. The results offer promise that IPS…might be effective for TANF recipients with disabilities” (p.v). • “Los Angeles County, California, aimed to improve the quality of SSI applications submitted by TANF recipients in order to increase the approval rate at the initial level…The pilot project improved coordination among the agencies, though the percentage of SSI applications awarded benefits at the initial level remained about the same” (p.v). • Muskegon County, Michigan, developed an intervention designed to better identify TANF recipients with disabilities and to improve the employment services offered to TANF clients deemed to have disabilities but to be able to work…The pilot lasted only six months, however, and it took time to gather medical documents and make disability determinations, so only a small percentage of recipients received the individually tailored employment services” (p.v). (Abstractor: Author)