Reports on the results of a random assignment study of six programs designed to increase the earning potential of youth with disabilities who are on the cusp of adulthood.

“Recognizing the importance of helping young people with disabilities achieve their full economic potential at this critical juncture in their lives, SSA [Social Security Administration] undertook the Youth Transition Demonstration (YTD) evaluation. The purpose of the evaluation was to identify and test the most promising service strategies, combined with SSA waivers of certain program rules to enhance work incentives, for helping youth with disabilities maximize their economic self-sufficiency as they transition to adulthood. SSA selected six project sites into the evaluation based on their adoption of promising strategies to support youth with disabilities and on their capacity and willingness to support evaluation activities…The target population for YTD was youth ages 14 to 25 who were receiving SSA disability benefits or were at high risk of receiving such benefits in the future.

Under contract to SSA, Mathematica Policy Research conducted a rigorous evaluation of the YTD projects using a random assignment evaluation design. Across the six project sites, more than 5,000 youth enrolled in the evaluation and were randomly assigned to either a treatment group that could participate in the YTD projects or a control group that could not. Mathematica and its partners in the evaluation conducted site-specific analysis to assess the impacts of the interventions one year and three years after youth enrolled in the evaluation…In this report, [the authors] present estimates of the impacts of the YTD projects on paid employment and earnings, total income from earnings and benefits, participation in productive activities, contact with the justice system, and self-determination. [The authors] also present estimates of each project’s average cost per participant” (p.xv).

(Abstractor: Author)