In addition to our demonstrations, we conduct other projects examining ways to change and improve the disability process and programs.
Benefit Offset—Ancillary Research
We are conducting ancillary research that uses the Benefit Offset National Demonstration data and data from other sources to provide policymakers with additional information on the potential effects of a change in the SSDI program rules that would allow beneficiaries to work and keep a portion of their benefits. The ancillary research falls within two themes. The first is research that will allow us to produce better estimates on the potential for induced entry into the SSDI program resulting from a change in the SSDI program rules. The second is research that will allow us to produce better estimates on the effect of changes in the structure of a benefit offset on costs and benefits of a new SSDI benefit offset policy.
In our disability adjudication process, we need information about work that exists nationally to determine whether claimants’ impairments prevent them from doing not only their past work, but other work in the U.S. economy. We currently use the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) and its companion volume, the Selected Characteristics of Occupations, as our primary sources of information about jobs and job requirements. However, the Department of Labor (DOL) last updated the DOT in 1991 and has no plans to conduct further updates. As a result, we have signed an interagency agreement with the DOL’s Bureau of Labor Statistics to test the feasibility of using the National Compensation Survey platform to collect updated occupational information that will meet our program needs. For more information about the project, please visit our OIS project page.