The Office of Research, Demonstration, and Employment Support, under the leadership of the Associate Commissioner, is comprised of seven separate offices. Choose the office name on the organization chart or from the list on the right for a description of each office and its respective functions.

Get acquainted with the Office of the Associate Commissioner OPDR in Washington, DC (Leola Brooks, Onsite Manager)
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  Office of the Associate Commissioner
Office of Data Analysis
Office of Program Development
Office of Program Evaluation
Office of Program Research
Office of Beneficiary Outreach and Employment Support
Office of Ticket Operation and Provider Support

The Office of the Associate Commissioner:

  1. The Associate Commissioner for Research, Demonstration, and Employment Support (ORDES) is directly responsible to the Deputy Commissioner for Retirement and Disability Policy for carrying out the mission of the office and providing general supervision to its major components.

  2. The Deputy Associate Commissioners for ORDES assist the Associate Commissioner in carrying out his/her responsibilities and performs other duties as the Associate Commissioner may prescribe.

  3. The Immediate Office of the Associate Commissioner for ORDES provides the Associate Commissioner and the Deputy Associate Commissioner with advisory services and staff assistance on the full range of their responsibilities and coordinates the administrative and program activities of ORDES components.


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The Office of Data Analysis:

  1. Compiles and analyzes data on various aspects of the agency's disability programs, including such areas as homeless applicants, veterans, Title XVI children, and work incentives.

  2. Provides data and analytical support to other ORDES offices; e.g., information for demonstration projects and other research efforts.

  3. Supports collaborative research with other government agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health.

  4. Develops and manages the Quick Disability Determination statistical models. We use these models to identify applicants who have medical evidence that is readily available and whom we are likely to approve for disability benefits.

  5. Identifies trends, emerging issues, and policy concerns in the agency's disability programs.

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The Office of Program Development:

  1. Develops and implements SSDI and SSI-related demonstration projects including projects that could encourage work and self-sufficiency.

  2. Administers grants, interagency agreements, contracts, and unsolicited proposals in support of demonstration projects.

  3. Conducts research ancillary to demonstrations and in support of other ORDES efforts.

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The Office of Program Evaluation:

  1. Maintains awareness of issues concerning the broad program policy environment including Congress, the private sector, and other government agencies, and ensures the agency’s policy and research agendas consider and reflect these points of view.

  2. Develops and maintains program policy on SSDI and SSI work incentives and provides operational support to the rest of the agency on work incentive policies and procedures. Drafts regulations and prepares operating procedures and related instructional materials.

  3. Directs and conducts research and development, including testing, data collection, and data analysis, with our Federal partners in the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics to develop a new Occupational Information System for use in the agency's disability program.

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The Office of Program Research:

  1. Identifies and develops potential research projects that will support future policy initiatives.

  2. Reviews current research and determines SSDI and SSI disability policy implications.

  3. Conducts studies and analyses on the national disabled population, applicants for benefits, disability beneficiaries, work incentives, and disability assessment tools.

  4. Conducts analyses of the interrelationships between the agency's disability programs, the national economy, and other income maintenance programs, as well as various socioeconomic factors.

  5. Conducts analyses of the international disability and income assistance programs.

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The Office of Beneficiary Outreach and Employment Support:

  1. As related to the Ticket to Work Program, implements and maintains program policy on SSDI and SSI work incentives and related areas, including areas of intercomponent concern such as substantial gainful activity. Drafts regulations and prepares operating policies and related instructional materials.

  2. Develops, in conjunction with the Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Communications, informational materials to increase public understanding and use of Ticket to Work related work incentives and to support the employment efforts of Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities.

  3. Develops proposals and plans for new work incentives and other policy changes.

  4. Develops specifications and administers grants, cooperative agreements, and Federal interagency agreements in support of program and operational activities.

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The Office of Ticket Operation and Provider Support:

  1. Administers the agency's Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program and processes reimbursement claims for State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies (VRA).

  2. Processes sensitive Ticket to Work payment workloads.

  3. Provides guidance and program support to the Ticket Operations Support Manager regarding Ticket assignments, payments to Employment Networks (EN), and systems issues.

  4. Provides program support to VRA personnel, ENs, and agency staff regarding VR and Ticket operations.

  5. Monitors quality to ensure proper payments to VRAs and ENs.

  6. Serves as the lead for the Return to Work initiative and coordinates systems enhancements for the Internet Ticket Operation Provider Support System and the Ticket to Work portion of the Disability Control File.