Early Assessment Report for the Retaining Employment and Talent After Injury/Illness Network (RETAIN) Demonstration
Social Security Administration
The Retaining Employment and Talent After Injury/Illness Network (RETAIN) demonstration is a collaborative effort between the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) to help workers with recently acquired injuries or illnesses remain in the labor force. The goal of RETAIN is to implement and build evidence on the effectiveness of early stay at work and return to work (SAW/RTW) interventions to help those who develop a potentially disabling condition.
DOL and SSA awarded cooperative agreements to five state agencies to expand programs they began in Phase 1 of RETAIN. Each state’s RETAIN program model centered on early coordination of health care and employment-related services and supports to help injured or ill workers remain in the workforce. The RETAIN states differed in how they implemented these services and supports to account for differences in their intended populations and the services available to support program outcomes.
This report assesses the initial implementation of the RETAIN programs in five state-specific chapters. Each state began enrollment at a different time between November 2021 and March 2022. Our assessment of initial implementation covers the period through June 2022. The findings focus on (1) program partnerships and the environment surrounding RETAIN implementation and service delivery, (2) recruitment and enrollment of eligible workers, and (3) RETAIN implementation and service delivery during the initial months of enrollment and service delivery. It also identifies areas for continued monitoring and evaluation technical assistance.