Building Better Programs

TANF/SSI Disability Transition Project (TSDTP)

Differing missions, programmatic and financial challenges, definitions of disability, and rules and incentives related to work make it challenging for the TANF and SSI programs to work together. The TANF/SSI Disability Transition Project (TSDTP) sought to better understand the relationship between the TANF and SSI systems with regard to TANF applicants and recipients who might have a disability. The project analyzed program data and developed and implemented pilot tests of program interventions targeted to this population.  The first link below will take you to the project description on MDRC’s website where you will also find links to all the final reports for the project.  Descriptions and links to the individual reports are also included below.

TSDTP Overview website

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

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

Many TANF staff are unfamiliar with the SSI Program but want to learn more. This brief describes the basic SSI disability determination process and compares and contrasts it with several procedures different TANF agencies use to identify recipients who meet TANF work-limitation criteria in states or localities. It goes on to discuss topics including different strategies TANF agencies use to assess which individuals are most likely to qualify for SSI.
Understanding Supplemental Security Income (SSI): A Guide for TANF Staff Members