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BOND Stage 2 First Interim Process, Participation, and Impact Report


January 16, 2018

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 variants of SSDI program rules governing work and other supports. BOND incorporates a $1 for $2 benefit offset that allows beneficiaries to retain more of their monthly cash benefit while working.

The BOND project includes two stages. Stage 1 supports an evaluation of how a national benefit offset would affect earnings and program outcomes for the entire SSDI population. The purpose of Stage 2 is to learn more about impacts on those beneficiaries most likely to use the offset (recruited and informed volunteers) and to determine the extent to which enhancements to counseling services affect impacts.

BOND takes place in 10 large sites, each corresponding to the service area of one of 53 SSA Area Offices. The 10 sites are a random sample of the 53 candidate areas to ensure that the evaluation’s findings are nationally representative. In total, the Stage 2 sample includes 12,744 beneficiaries in three assignment groups:

  • 4,854 volunteers in the T21 group that receives the benefit offset and regular work incentives counseling (WIC);
  • 3,041 volunteers in the T22 group that receives the benefit offset and enhanced work incentives counseling (EWIC); and
  • 4,849 volunteers in the C2 group that continues to receive benefits and counseling according to current SSDI rules.

This report is the first of two Stage 2 Interim Process, Participation, and Impact Reports. This report documents results of the Stage 2 process and participation analyses through the fourth calendar year of implementation (2014) and documents impacts on earnings and benefit outcomes during the third calendar year of implementation (2013).