Connections Between TANF and SSI: Lessons from the TANF/SSI Disability Transition Project

Posted by Alexandra Kielty - On February 21, 2014 (EST)

The Administration on Children and Families issued this February 2014 brief which provides an overall summary of the lessons learned from the TANF-SSI Disability Transition Project. It brings together material spread across other documents in a concise format, and it also offers new insights from state-level data analyses that largely back up the conclusions drawn from federal data.

This brief summarizes findings from these research activities.
• Analysis of merged TANF and SSI data. The analysis of national-level data found that the overlap between the TANF and SSI populations is not large.

Field assessments at seven sites found that TANF recipients who are exempt from requirements to participate in work activities due to a disability generally have access to few targeted services designed to increase their self-sufficiency; there is little coordination between TANF programs and SSA during TANF recipients’ SSI application periods; and, at most sites, TANF agencies rely largely on medical professionals to determine TANF recipients’ ability to participate in work activities.
•Pilot interventions. Ramsey County, Minnesota, developed a pilot program that targeted employment services to individuals with disabilities, which increased participants’ earnings by 75 percent in its first year. Los Angeles County aimed to facilitate coordination and communication with SSA and improve the quality of SSI applications submitted by TANF recipients in order to increase their initial approval rate. Muskegan County, Michigan, developed an intervention designed to improve the identification of disabilities among TANF recipients and provide enhanced services to TANF clients with disabilities.

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