Testing New Earnings Rules for Social Security Disability Insurance: Findings from the Benefit Offset National Demonstration
The current earnings rules for Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) specify that, after using available work incentives, DI beneficiaries are not owed a DI benefit check if they earn more than a certain threshold. The Benefit Offset National Demonstration (BOND) tested a design intended to encourage DI beneficiaries to work by replacing the so-called cash cliff with a ramp—a $1 reduction in benefits for every $2 of additional earnings. BOND simultaneously tested the new rules with two groups: a nationally representative sample of DI beneficiaries and a group of recruited and informed volunteers—those thought to be most likely to earn more than the earnings threshold. Results from the five-year evaluation of BOND are now available for both groups.
Mathematica’s Center for Studying Disability Policy held a webinar on Wednesday, December 12, 2018, from noon to 1:30 p.m. (ET) to find out how the rules tested under BOND affected employment, earnings, and DI benefits. The presentations helped stakeholders understand the evaluation findings and their implications. Presentations also provided insights for demonstrations relying solely on volunteers based on a comparison of results from the nationally representative and volunteer samples.