SSA's Benefit Offset National Demonstration (BOND)

Posted by randee chafkin - On March 06, 2011 (EST)

Abt Associates and Mathematica Policy Research have issued a report that described the final design of the implementation and evaluation. BOND is intended to test changes to the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) ogram, most notably a $1 for $2 benefit offset, that have the potential to help SSDI beneficiaries increase their earnings and income and reduce their reliance on SSDI benefits.

The report opens by presenting the rationale behind the demonstration. The authors describe the “cash cliff” effect that results when beneficiaries have earnings in excess of Substantial Gainful Activity over a designated period of time. The authors also describe the macro-level challenges associated with the work disincentives in the SSDI program, including the growth of program expenditures that is outpacing growth in payroll taxes and other income that support the SSDI Trust Fund.

In response, BOND will test whether eliminating the SGA cash cliff and replacing it with a ramp-a gradual reduction of benefits by only one dollar for every two dollars of countable earnings above the BOND threshold—can increase return to work and earnings. BOND will test other administrative and programmatic changes as well. These will include, for example, a demonstration system to facilitate and expedite earnings reporting. Additionally, the demonstration will test the provision of more intensive counseling, termed Enhanced Work Incentives Counseling. EWIC is expected to increase the impact of the offset by improving beneficiary understanding of how higher earnings will affect SSDI and other benefits. It is also expected to help beneficiaries access the medical treatments, employment supports, and job search assistance they might need to address other obstacles.

The report is available at

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Modified On : March 06, 2011
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