The TANF/SSI Disability Transition Project: Innovative Strategies for Serving TANF Recipients with Disabilities

Publication Date: February 19, 2014


This report describes three pilot projects designed to improve some aspect of TANF services for clients with disabilities, including those who may apply for SSI. Pilots took place in Ramsey County, MN, Los Angeles County, CA, and Muskegon County, MI.

  • Ramsey County, Minnesota, developed a pilot program to increase employment among TANF recipients with work limitations and disabilities. It gathered into the same location mental health services, health care services, and employment services following the Integrated Placement and Support (IPS) model. The results offer promise that IPS, which has been shown to be effective among individuals with severe mental illness, might be adapted effectively for TANF recipients with disabilities.
  • Los Angeles County, California, aimed to improve the quality of SSI applications submitted by TANF recipients in order to increase the approval rate at the initial level. Local Social Security Administration (SSA) and Disability Determination Services (DDS) staff members provided training to the county’s SSI advocates, gave feedback on the completeness and quality of submitted SSI applications, and established local liaisons.  The pilot project improved coordination among agencies, though the percentage of SSI applications awarded benefits at the initial level remained about the same.
  • Muskegon County, Michigan, developed an intervention designed to better identify TANF recipients with disabilities and to improve the employment services offered to TANF clients deemed to have disabilities but to be able to work. The program’s staff used materials drawn from the SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) program to develop medical and case evidence. Staff members were trained to use motivational interviewing techniques to reduce participants’ barriers to work participation.
Current as of: