Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE): The Education and Work Experiences of PROMISE Youth
Social Security Administration
- Youth in PROMISE treatment and control groups enrolled in education and training five years after random assignment at similar rates and they attended similar types of schools and programs. PROMISE treatment group youth had lower levels of educational attainment than control group youth; PROMISE may have nudged some youth toward employment and away from education.
- PROMISE treatment group youth had higher employment rates relative to the control group. However, there were few differences between the groups in job characteristics among employed youth, and in work search activities and perceived barriers to employment among those not employed.
- Comparisons with ACS youth with disabilities suggest that youth who were less education-oriented and more work-oriented might have been more likely to enroll in the PROMISE demonstration.
- PROMISE youth experienced worse education and employment outcomes than ACS youth with and without disabilities, underscoring the need for supports and services and effective interventions to support youth receiving SSI in their transition to adulthood.
Youth with disabilities face significant barriers to achieving education and employment outcomes. While substantial research has examined the educational and employment outcomes of youth with disabilities, there has been less research on the context within which these outcomes occur. This study builds on a five-year evaluation of the impact of the Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE), a federal initiative that aimed to improve the long-term self-sufficiency of youth ages 14-16 receiving Supplemental Security Income, which is a means-tested benefit intended for people with very low incomes. We provide a more detailed picture of PROMISE youth’s employment, education, training, and living arrangements and benchmark youth outcomes against those of similarly aged youth with and without disabilities.