CURRENT PRACTICE: To notify beneficiaries of their eligibility to participate in the TTW program, SSA currently mails notices to beneficiaries approximately two months after award (start-up notices) and at the 12-month and 36-month anniversary dates of their award. The notices include standard language about the TTW program and include a TTW brochure, titled “Your Ticket to Work” (available in English and Spanish), and an “inline, paper Ticket.” The inline Ticket is currently an additional page following the letter with additional TTW program information.
The intervention consists of updated communication materials that SSA sends to people with disabilities (SSDI beneficiaries and/or SSI recipients) between the ages of 18 and 55.
INTERVENTION #1 (Notice Structure): First, the project will modify both the start-up and one-year notices and eliminate the three-year letter notice. In place of the three-year notice, we are introducing a notice at two years post-award. The newly designed notices include a more succinct description of the program, which emphasizes saliency, and clear, plain-language action steps encouraging beneficiaries to call the TTW Help Line.
INTERVENTION #2 (Hardcopy Ticket): In addition to testing the amended notices, we will test the inclusion of a cardstock Ticket. These “Tickets” will be printed on 3.5” by 8” cardstock paper. The goal of the newly designed cardstock Tickets is to make the benefits of participating in the TTW program more salient and concise than the letter and, specifically, to help people think of themselves as ready to work (identity priming) and take the specific step of calling the TTW Help Line (implementation prompts). The Ticket format—small, durable, and easily posted on a refrigerator or bulletin board—also makes key information about the program easier to save and access later when necessary. Ultimately, the cardstock Ticket and notice are designed to encourage beneficiaries to consider the benefits of returning to work (or for those not ready to return to work right now, encouraging them to consider it later).