SSA's Rehabilitation Programs

HEHS-95-253R: Published: Sep 7, 1995. Publicly Released: Sep 7, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Social Security Administration's (SSA) Research Demonstration Program (RDP) and Project Network (PN). GAO noted that: (1) SSA intended for RDP to cover a broad array of populations, use a wide range of methodologies, and test a variety of interventions in order to educate the agency about rehabilitation and employment techniques, as well as educate private providers about SSA beneficiaries and their particular needs; (2) RDP involves a total of 116 RDP grants at a cost of about $30 million, forty-six of which include waivers that permit direct referral of Social Security beneficiaries to vocational rehabilitation sources other than the state agencies; (3) SSA tested four case management models in which SSA field office staff provide rehabilitation and employment services to Disability Insurance (DI) beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) applicants; (4) PN case managers use self-screening to identify individuals with the potential for rehabilitation, focus on job placement in the competitive labor market, and provide additional assistance to help clients complete a rehabilatation plan; (5) PN has a total budget of approximately $25 million, which covers estimated costs for project administration and evaluation and vocational rehabilitation services for project participants, and is intended to measure the incremental effects of case management.

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