Minnesota Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) Project Demonstration: Final Evaluation Report

Publisher: Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research
Sep 28, 2017
Purvi Sevak, Matthew Kehn, Todd Honeycutt, and Gina Livermore

Key Findings:

  • The innovations increased the likelihood of applicants’ obtaining a signed IPE within 30 days of application by 8 percentage points (from 27 percent to 35 percent)
  • The innovations increased the likelihood that an applicant would stay with VR services until finding competitive employment by 6 percentage points (from 62 percent to 68 percent)
  • The random assignment design used in the demonstration is a feasible approach that other VR agencies could use to rigorously test the effectiveness of service delivery innovations
  • An important implication of the findings for other VR agencies is that a faster pace of VR services is possible without negative consequences
The SGA Project demonstration involved the design, implementation, and testing of innovations designed to improve the employment outcomes of nonblind state vocational rehabilitation (VR) clients receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Two states—Kentucky and Minnesota—participated in the demonstration. This report presents findings on Minnesota’s experience in implementing the SGA Project innovations and client outcomes during the first two years of the demonstration. At that time, when 41 percent of clients still had open cases, the innovations were associated with a substantially higher rate of closure with competitive employment, but the difference was just shy of conventional standards of statistical significance. This innovations did lead to statistically significant increases in the pace of VR services and level of client engagement.