Design Options for an Impact Evaluation of the Participant Assistance Program

Publisher: Princeton, NJ: Mathematica Policy Research
Dec 17, 2013
Annalisa Mastri, Jeanne Bellotti, Julie Bruch, Grace Roemer, and Beenu Puri
This report focuses on two potential impact evaluation designs that would test—in slightly different ways—the impact of receiving a referral to EBSA’s website compared with receiving BA assistance through the telephone hotline, which is currently the predominant mode inquirers use to access services. OEA has indicated a desire to increase participants’ use of its website to acquire information to resolve inquiries on their own and to submit web inquiries for further assistance. If this approach were successful at enabling participants to resolve relatively simple questions on their own without BA assistance, this could allow BAs to focus on inquiries that require specialized knowledge of benefits-related laws. In addition, inquiries submitted through the website require less data entry on the part of BAs, resulting in less time spent per inquiry.