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Project Number: p03-04c

Facilitating the Transition to Employment of Childhood SSI Beneficiaries and Other Children with Disabilities

Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Powers

Project Type: Core Research

Project Year: 03

Thematic Category: Transition to Work

Project Summary:

This project examines the young adult transitions to employment of individuals who are limited in activities or experience specific chronic health conditions in childhood. Particular attention is paid to children who participate in the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. The project proceeds in two phases. In the first phase, a careful assessment of the patterns of the young adult transition into the labor market is conducted. This analysis provides answers to basic questions such as when do children with health limitations begin working; are their employment patterns continuous or fitful; do they experience earnings growth; and are their earnings levels commensurate with economic self-sufficiency? The second phase of the project is concerned with identifying specific factors that may mitigate the adverse consequences of childhood health and activity limitations on the transition to adult employment and economic self-sufficiency. Again, particular attention is paid to the experiences of individuals who have participated in SSI as children who may find this transition particularly challenging. Given the limitations of existing public-use data sets on households, such a project would normally be infeasible. However, this project surmounts these difficulties by linking public-use household data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) with administrative records on Social Security covered earnings and SSI recipiency.