The Breaking Barriers program, based in San Diego, provided employment services to lower-income individuals with disabilities. MDRC carried out a random assignment evaluation of the program. As part of the Building Evidence on Employment Strategies for Low-income Families project, MDRC is collecting additional administrative records to extend the original evaluation.
Implementing Individual Placement and Support in a Workforce Setting
Breaking Barriers was a San Diego-based program that provided employment services to low-income individuals with a range of disabilities or other health conditions. Preliminary analyses based on a survey found that the program did not have an impact on the primary outcomes measured — employment, length of employment, and total earnings — during a 15-month follow-up period.
While we know how to help low-income individuals prepare for and find work, too many end up in low-wage jobs and never advance up the career ladder. This policy memo describes what we’ve learned about advancement strategies — both those that show promise and those that don’t work.
Impacts on Health and Employment at Twelve Months
This demonstration tested the effects of earlier access to health care coverage and related services for new Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries. After one year, the program increased health care use, reduced reported unmet medical needs, and modestly improved health and functioning. It also increased job prep and search activities but did not raise employment levels.
Six-Month Results from the Accelerated Benefits Demonstration
This policy brief offers early findings from a demonstration testing whether earlier access to health care and related services for new Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries who lack health care coverage would lead to improved outcomes. So far, the intervention has increased the use of health care services and reduced the reported unmet health care needs of the project participants.
Design and Early Implementation of the Accelerated Benefits Demonstration
Many Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries have serious and immediate health care needs, but, under current law, most are not eligible for Medicare until 24 months after they start receiving cash benefits. This policy brief describes a new project that is testing whether providing earlier access to health benefits, as well as other services, for new SSDI beneficiaries who have no other health insurance improves employment and health outcomes.
The Employment Retention and Advancement Project
A random assignment study of a welfare-to-work program for recipients with work-limiting medical and mental health conditions shows that participants had increased employment and decreased welfare payments.
An evaluation of a case management program for long-term welfare recipients shows little effect on participants’ involvement in program services or on their employment, earnings, or public assistance receipt during the first one-and-a-half years of follow-up.
Evidence from Connecticut and Minnesota
Using data from two random assignment welfare reform experiments, this report contributes insights to efforts to foster economic self-sufficiency in both the assisted housing and the welfare policy arenas.