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Colorado Youth WINS

Social Security Administration’s Youth Transition Demonstration Project

Social Security Administration (SSA) awarded Colorado WIN Partners a cooperative agreement to lead and manage a 5-year national demonstration project, generating empirical evidence, based on both process and random-assignment evaluations, on the impacts of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) waivers and enhanced coordination of services for youth with disabilities. Under this project, a two-pronged intervention was tested: 1.) the effectiveness of altering certain SSI rules as an incentive to encourage beneficiaries to initiate work or to increase their work activity and increase their earnings; and, 2.) a service delivery system to assist youth with disabilities, ages 14-25 receiving SSA disability benefits, to successfully transition from school, which may include post-secondary education, to employment and economic self-sufficiency based out of a One-Stop Career Center. Colorado WIN Partners managed the project implementation, recruitment and enrollment of participants, delivery of services, and subcontract execution with four local Workforce Centers.

Colorado WIN Partners also entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., SSA’s national evaluation contractor, in order to participate in the project’s national evaluation. Under this agreement, Mathematica enrolled 880 youth and randomly assigned them to treatment and control groups. Colorado WIN Partners enrolled treatment group members into the study, delivered services, and conducted a process evaluation and analyzed impacts on outcomes of participants in the study. Colorado WIN Partners and Mathematica shared research designs, data, and research results as necessary to carry out the evaluations under this agreement.