Oversight of the Benefit Offset National Demonstration Project

Date: 
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Report Number: 
A-04-14-14078
Report Type: 
Audit Report
Office Affiliation: 

With the Benefit Offset National Demonstration (BOND) project, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is testing and evaluating the treatment of earnings for current Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries in 10 sites nationwide. Under current rules, beneficiaries lose their entire cash benefit if their earnings exceed the substantial gainful activity (SGA) threshold in the month after the trial work and grace periods end. The BOND project provides a gradual reduction of benefits ($1 for each additional $2 earned over the SGA threshold). In addition, SSA is offering some participants enhanced work incentives, such as counseling. The goal of the BOND project is to identify and test policies that will assist SSDI beneficiaries resume work, thereby relying less on SSA benefits.

Our objective was to determine (1) the status and results of the BOND project, (2) whether the BOND project was meeting SSA's goals, and (3) whether the contractor’s services and costs for administering the BOND project adhered to contract terms and applicable regulations.