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Table 1 Demonstrations and employment programs implemented before 2000

From: The disability system and programs to promote employment for people with disabilities

Demonstration (Evaluation report) Evaluation design Intervention description Target population/sample Summary of findings
Structured Training and Employment Transitional Services (STETS) (Department of Labor) (Kerachsky and Thornton 1987) Random assignment demonstration implemented between November 1981 and December 1982 in five US cities. Intervention consisted of three phases of work interventions: (1) an introductory work exposure period, (2) actual employment with on-the-job training (or supported employment), and (3) postemployment follow-up and job supports. Included 467 youth ages 18 to 24 who had IQ scores between 40 and 80 (many of whom received SSI and/or SSDI benefits). 22-month impacts
Percent employed
Control: 19.0 percent
Treatment: 31.0 percent
Annualized earnings
Control: $3,340
Treatment: $5,816
Mean benefit amounts
Control: $3,228
Treatment: $5,620
Transitional Employment Training Demonstration (TETD) (Decker and Thornton 1995) Random assignment demonstration implemented between 1985 and 1987 in 13 demonstration communities. Intervention included job placement, on-the-job training, and job-retention services. Treatment group members could receive time-limited (one-year) job-placement services or on-the-job training as part of the program. Included 745 SSI beneficiaries who were between ages 18 and 40 and were diagnosed with an intellectual disability. Year 6 impacts
Percent employed
Control: 41.8 percent
Treatment: 50.8 percent
Annualized earnings
Control: $12,514
Treatment: $21,483
Benefit amounts
Control mean: $5,475
Treatment mean: $5,137
Project NetWork (Kornfeld and Rupp 2000; Rupp and Bell 2003) Random assignment demonstration implemented in eight sites around the country from 1992 to 1994. Intervention included intensive, employment-focused case-management services to test the efficacy of case-management services in moving people with severe disabilities into full-time employment and off the disability rolls. Treatment group members received case-management services; control-group members remained eligible for any employment assistance in their communities. Included 8,428 SSI beneficiaries and applicants, as well as SSDI beneficiaries who were between ages 15 and 65, without regard to the nature of their disability. Year 2 impacts
Percent employed
Control: 13.6 percent
Treatment: 15.5 percent
Annualized earnings
Control: $3,495
Treatment: $3,850
State Partnership Initiative (SPI) (Peikes et al. 2005) Random assignment demonstration in four projects in three states implemented from 1999 through 2004. The projects varied in scope, but they all generally provided services in one of the following approaches: (1) improving information about the effect of work on benefit receipt (benefits counseling), (2) encouraging the use of available work incentives, (3) testing modifications to program rules to allow SSI beneficiaries to earn and save more, and (4) providing better access to vocational supports. Included 3,366 SSDI and SSI beneficiaries in four random assignment projects. Year 1 impacts
     Percent employed ranged across sites from no impact to
     Control: 27.1 percent
     Treatment: 44.1 percent
     No earnings impacts, though one site had negative impacts on earnings.
     The SPI evaluation did not assess effects on cash disability benefits.
  1. Notes: The Department of Labor funded STETS. SSA was the lead agency on all other demonstrations. Adapted from Rangarajan et al. (2008). All dollar estimates are adjusted to the year 2012 using the Consumer Price Index, which is available at We only present impacts that were statistically significant from zero at the 5 percent level.