As part of the Ticket to Work (TTW) and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999, Congress directed the Social Security Administration (SSA) to test alternative Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) work rules designed to increase the incentive for SSDI beneficiaries to work and reduce their reliance on benefits. In response, SSA has undertaken the Benefit Offset National Demonstration (BOND), a random assignment test of alternative SSDI program rules governing work and other supports. BOND tests a $1 for $2 benefit offset applied to annual earnings above the BOND Yearly Amount (BYA)—the annual equivalent of SSA’s substantial gainful activity amount. As a result, beneficiaries in the treatment group are able to retain some of their monthly cash benefits while earning more than BYA.
The BOND project includes two stages. Stage 1 supports an evaluation of how the BOND $1 for $2 benefit offset would affect earnings and program outcomes if applied to the national SSDI population. This report is the second of two Stage 1 Interim Process, Participation, and Impact Reports. The report documents results of the Stage 1 process and participation analyses through the sixth year of implementation (2016) and presents estimates of impacts on earnings and benefit outcomes during the fifth calendar year of implementation (2015). The report also uses SSA administrative data to describe the prevalence and size of overpayments and to estimate the impact of the benefit offset on overpayments.