Social Security Administration Payments to State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies for Beneficiaries Who Work: Evidence from Linked Administrative Data
DRC Working Paper Number: 2017-02
Publisher: Washington, DC: Center for Studying Disability Policy, Mathematica Policy Research
Mar 31, 2017
- Payments from SSA to SVRAs were relatively rare during our period of study. Among all beneficiaries who first applied for VR services from 2002 through 2007 (including those who ultimately have their case closed before receiving services), approximately one in 20 have work activity that triggers a payment from SSA to an SVRA.
- The total BFW accrued among beneficiaries who applied for services from SVRAs dwarfed the payments SSA made to the SVRAs for serving those beneficiaries. Total BFW was nearly seven times higher than the total payments made, even under our most restrictive criteria.
- Many beneficiary VR applicants are not served when they initially apply for services, perhaps because fiscal constraints affect SVRAs’ ability to serve all applicants. Yet, a share of these beneficiary applicants reapply and receive services later, with some generating BFW and ultimately working at a level to trigger payments from SSA.
- There is wide agency-level variation in the share of beneficiaries for whom SSA makes a payment to an SVRA. Some agencies collect a low share of payments given how many beneficiary applicants they serve while others collect a disproportionately high share of payments.