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Selected Proposals (Phase II)

In April 2018, the McCrery-Pomeroy SSDI Solutions Initiative launched the second phase of the project, which will build upon the proposals advanced in SSDI Solutions and will help set the stage for more policy changes well in advance of the next SSDI solvency deadline.

The first set of papers announced for the second phase are as follows:

“Preliminary Design for an Integrated Employment/Eligibility Services (EES) Demonstration” (David Stapleton, Yonatan Ben-Shalom, and David Mann) – This paper will develop a preliminary demonstration design for an Employment/Eligibility Services (EES) system originally proposed by the authors in SSDI Solutions. The central idea of EES is to replace existing SSDI eligibility and return-to-work services with a system in which employment supports are integrated with the eligibility determination process and incentives are realigned to improve return-to-work efforts and reduce SSDI entry. The authors will specify key operational components of a draft demonstration while revising certain design features in order to maximize the likelihood of bipartisan support.

“Ensuring Successful Implementation of Community-Based Health & Work Centers” (Jennifer Christian, Thomas Wickizer, and Kim Burton) – This paper will serve as a follow up to the author’s SSDI Solutions proposal for Community-Based Health & Work Centers that provide near-immediate assistance to individuals who experience a work-disrupting health episode, which the Department of Labor (DOL) is currently adapting into a demonstration project. The authors will review critical lessons learned from the implementation of similar programs in the United Kingdom and Washington State and present DOL with a series of observations, cautions, and recommendations aimed at ensuring the success of the demonstration.

“Lessons Learned - Developing Social Security Disability (SSDI) Reform Demonstrations to Improve Opportunities and Outcomes” (Jason Fichtner and Jason Seligman) – There is strong interest in demonstration projects that test potential SSDI reforms, but outside observers agree that past SSDI demonstrations have suffered from substandard design and execution. This research paper will survey past demonstration and pilot projects and identify what works and what doesn’t work. The authors will then discuss how these lessons can be used to help maximize the success of future SSDI demonstrations.

“Restructuring SSDI & SSI Administrative Adjudication” (Harold J. Krent) – This paper will closely examine the Social Security Disability adjudication system and its strengths and weaknesses. It will then review administrative systems at the state, federal and international levels in an effort to learn from models that have worked more effectively than the SSDI adjudication framework. It will also consider the potential costs and benefits of different reform proposals, such as introducing adversarial hearings or streamlining the appeals process.

Other papers will be announced in the coming months.