• Description

The transition process for a child Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipient nearing the age of 18 can be quite complicated. From a programmatic standpoint, all child SSI recipients have their eligibility redetermined under the adult SSI disability requirements at age 18. Potentially more important, many child SSI recipients are also at the age when they must prepare for life beyond secondary school. The choices made during this important transition could have long-term implications for a child's future employment prospects, particularly given the typically long durations of participation and strong work disincentives associated with SSI participation. The purpose of our analysis is to examine concerns related to this transition process and suggest policy options for consideration by the Social Security Administration's (SSA) Ticket Advisory Panel. Our findings are based on an extensive literature review of programs that serve child SSI recipients and semi-structured interviews with experts familiar with the problems facing youth during this transition. In previous reports, the Ticket Advisory Panel has suggested expanding eligibility for the Ticket program to child SSI recipients age 17 to 18 as one possible mechanism for improving independent living options for this population (Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Advisory Panel 2001). We build off this initial suggestion by examining other possible mechanisms for improving independent living options for "transition age" (i.e., youth nearing age 18) child SSI recipients.