Mathematica is one of two policy research centers that lead the SSA's Disability Research Consortium. The DRC fosters new research from a team of disability policy experts from Mathematica and three universities.
- Impacts of public policy on the employment and income of people with disabilities
- Use of administrative and survey data for research on working-age people with disabilities
- Employment and Income Support
- Health Care
- Statistics and Measurement
- Transition to Adulthood
David Stapleton is a Senior Fellow and was the director of Mathematica’s Center for Studying Disability Policy from 2007 through 2017. He also directs Mathematica’s cooperative agreement with the Social Security Administration (SSA) for the agency's Disability Research Consortium. Since 1991, Stapleton’s research has focused on the impacts of public policy on the employment and well-being of people with disabilities. He co-directs the evaluation of SSA’s Benefit Offset National Demonstration and is a senior advisor to approximately 10 major projects for SSA, the Rehabilitation Services Administration, and the National Institute of Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research.
With more than 25 years of experience studying support programs for working-age people with disabilities, Stapleton regularly consults with federal and state officials about policy options to improve the economic well-being of these individuals and to reduce their reliance on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income, and other government programs. He has recently supported major efforts, organized by the Bipartisan Policy Center and the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, to develop proposals that address the pending exhaustion of the SSDI Trust Fund. He has testified on SSDI and employment issues before the Senate Finance Committee and the Social Security Subcommittee of the House Committee on Ways & Means. In addition, he has provided commentary to major media outlets such as The Hill, The Economist, National Public Radio, The Atlantic, and the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, and routinely presents at large research conferences hosted by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management and the American Economic Association. His research has been published in numerous academic journals and books.
Stapleton was formerly director of Cornell University’s Institute for Policy Research, senior vice president at the Lewin Group, and associate professor at both Dartmouth College and the University of Maryland, College Park. He has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) Project Demonstration
Mathematica is helping to develop a demonstration focused on improving the employment outcomes of state vocational rehabilitation clients who receive only SSDI benefits.
Disability Statistics and Measurement Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (STATS-RRTC)
The mission of the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability Statistics and Demographics (StatsRRTC) is to narrow and actively bridge the divide between the producers and end users of disability statistics, thereby supporting better data collection, more accurate information, better decision-making,...
Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work Policy Collaborative—S@W/R2W
The Office of Disability Employment Policy has a strong interest in advancing policies and programs that promote positive stay-at-work/return-to-work (SAW/RTW) outcomes for workers who experience a chronic illness, disability, or medical condition.
Benefit Offset National Demonstration (BOND) Implementation and Evaluation
The Benefit Offset National Demonstration is testing variants of Social Security Disability Insurance program rules governing work and other supports.
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...
The Employment/Eligibility Service (EES) System
The authors of a new working paper describe a proposal that would start the modernization of economic security for workers who experience work-threatening medical conditions by creating a new gateway for them to access employment supports and SSDI benefits.
Alternatives to Benefit Receipt: Special Journal Edition Offers Insights for Reducing Reliance on Disability Support Programs and Promoting Employment of People with Disabilities
A special issue of the IZA Journal of Labor Policy, compiled and co-edited by Gina Livermore, David Neumark, and David Wittenburg, explores the evolution of disability policy in the U.S., the factors contributing to growth in the disability rolls, and the potential for early interventions and employment...