Absence of conflict of interest.
- The study’s objective was to examine the impact of the Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE) program on education, employment, earnings, and public benefits receipt outcomes. This profile focuses on the Maryland PROMISE (MD PROMISE) program. The authors investigated similar research questions for other sites, the profiles of which can be found here:
- The study was a randomized controlled trial at the Maryland site. Using participant surveys and administrative data, the authors conducted statistical models to compare the outcomes of the treatment and control group members.
- The study found that MD PROMISE participants were significantly more likely to receive job-related training, have paid employment, work more hours, and have higher earnings and total income compared to control participants.
- This study receives a high causal evidence rating. This means we are confident that the estimated effects are attributable to MD PROMISE, and not to other factors.
Maryland Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (MD PROMISE)
Features of the Intervention
The Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE) was a program jointly created by the U.S. Department of Education, Social Security Administration (SSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Labor to provide supports and services to youth with disabilities who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits in their transition to adulthood.
The Maryland Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (MD PROMISE) is one of six programs that make up PROMISE. In April 2014, the Maryland Department of Disabilities led MD PROMISE and contracted with three organization to provide services to participants statewide, while a fourth organization provided technical assistance to program staff. MD PROMISE created and implemented an assertive case management system that included a multidisciplinary team that delivered person- and family-centric services in the community with program youth. The team provided paid and unpaid work experience, job search services, and employer outreach. When necessary, the team referred participants out to other providers to receive benefits counseling, financial classes, financial counseling, and financial coaching. Additionally, youth and their families were linked to adult and post-secondary education services. MD PROMISE served youth between the ages of 14 and 16 who had a disability and received SSI benefits.
Features of the Study
The study was a randomized controlled trial that assigned 1,866 youth into a treatment or control group. The treatment group received MD PROMISE services while the control group received services that were available through their community. MD PROMISE was allowed to nonrandomly assign five youth to the treatment group; however, their data were not included in the analysis. Additionally, siblings of youth who were already enrolled in MD PROMISE were assigned to the same group as their sibling and were withheld from the study analysis. The analytic sample consisted of 759 youth in the treatment group and 742 youth in the control group. The sample was primarily male (64.5%) with an average age of 15.8 years. Most of the sample were Non-Hispanic Black (61.0%) and had described their disability as another mental impairment (48%). Primary data sources included an 18-month follow-up survey that was provided to youth and their caregivers, SSA administrative records, state Medicaid agency records, and state vocational rehabilitation records. Study authors used statistical models to compare the outcomes of the treatment group and control group members.
Education and skills gains
- The study found that significantly more MD PROMISE participants than control participants received job-related training (23.5% vs. 17.2%).
- The study did not find significant differences between the groups in school enrollment, obtaining a job-related credential, or obtaining a GED, high school diploma, or certificate of completion during the study period.
- The study found that significantly more MD PROMISE participants than control participants had paid employment during the study period (40.6% vs. 22%).
- The study also found that MD PROMISE participants worked significantly more hours in paid jobs than control participants (2.9 vs. 1.6).
Earnings and wages
- The study found that MD PROMISE participants earned significantly more than control participants during the study period ($1,362 vs. $831).
Public benefits receipt
- The study found that MD PROMISE participants had significantly higher total income from earnings and SSA payments ($8,573) than control participants ($7,865).
- The study did not find a significant difference between the groups in total SSA payments.
Considerations for Interpreting the Findings
During the 2015-2016 school year, the state of Maryland increased the compulsory school age from 16 to 17 years of age. Study authors believe that the increase in compulsory school age may have muted some effects that the MD PROMISE had on school outcomes. Also, the study authors report a less stringent statistical significance level, considering p-values of less than 0.10 to be significant, though it is standard practice to consider statistical significance if the p-value is less than 0.05. Only results that demonstrate a p-value of less than 0.05 are considered statistically significant in this profile.
Causal Evidence Rating
The quality of causal evidence presented in this report is high because it was based on a well-implemented randomized controlled trial. This means we are confident that the estimated effects are attributable to MD PROMISE, and not to other factors.