Innovating Services, Improving Outcomes: A VR Model for Serving SSDI Clients

Sep 28, 2017 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

As the main source of job services for people with disabilities, state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies have the potential to help people receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) become more independent and economically successful. But recent research suggests that VR services for these individuals could be improved. Although SSDI beneficiaries who receive VR services see their earnings increase, only a small share earn enough to leave the disability rolls. 

To this end, the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts-Boston and Mathematica Policy Research received a grant from the Rehabilitation Services Administration to develop the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) Project Demonstration. This demonstration focused on improving employment outcomes for state VR clients who receive SSDI. 

On Thursday, September 28, from 1:00–2:30 p.m. (ET), Mathematica’s Center for Studying Disability Policy  hosted a live webinar featuring a panel of experts. The panel discussed the experiences of VR agencies in Kentucky and Minnesota that implemented the SGA Project innovations, which were designed to help beneficiaries prepare for and find jobs with earnings above the SGA level. 


  • Gina Livermore, moderator (Mathematica)
  • Susan Foley (Institute for Community Inclusion)
  • Joe Marrone (Institute for Community Inclusion)
  • Purvi Sevak (Mathematica)
  • Todd Honeycutt (Mathematica)
  • Steve Wooderson, discussant (Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation) 

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