Exploring How People’s Characteristics, Contexts, and Life Events Predict Early Adult Participation in Supplemental Security Income

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provides a safety net for millions of young adults with significant disabilities. Although most SSI participants do not work, many want to do so, potentially because working can provide a substantially higher income than SSI participation and improve quality of life. Policy analysts have speculated that efforts to help these individuals firmly establish themselves in the labor force before they apply for SSI might succeed. However, providing vocational services to people before they apply for SSI is challenging because it requires identifying in advance those who are likely to apply for SSI later. This Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation report aims to inform those who study or develop programs offering employment services to young adults who are potential SSI participants. Employment and other programs seeking to effectively support potential SSI applicants could consider using the findings to improve their outreach and intake screening processes.

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