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BOND Stage 2 First- and Second-Year Snapshot of Earnings and Benefit Impacts


August 14, 2014

As part of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999, Congress asked 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 variants of SSDI program rules governing work and other supports. SSA, in conjunction with several contractors led by Abt Global, developed the infrastructure and supports required to implement BOND.

The BOND project includes two stages. Stage 1 is designed to examine how a national benefit offset would affect earnings and program outcomes for the entire SSDI population. Stage 2 is designed to learn more about impacts for those most likely to use the offset (recruited and informed volunteers) and to determine the extent to which Enhanced Work Incentives Counseling (EWIC) affects impacts.

This report, the first of three Stage 2 Snapshot Reports, documents Stage 2 impacts on earnings and benefit outcomes during the first and second calendar years of implementation (2011 and 2012). The Stage 2 sample of SSDI-only volunteers includes the offset-only group (T21), the offset-EWIC group (T22), and the Stage 2 control group (C2). The authors have conducted pairwise comparisons of outcomes for beneficiaries in these groups to provide estimates of the impact of the offset compared to current law (T21 vs. C2); the impact of the offset plus EWIC, again compared to current law (T22 vs. C2); and the marginal impact of EWIC once the offset is available to both groups (T22 vs. T21).