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Social Security-Research And Demonstration

Program Descriptions

Program Number



Social Security-Research And Demonstration


Federal Agency




Social Security Act of 1935, Title II and Title XVI, Section 1110, as amended; 42 U.S.C. 401-433, 902, 1310, 1381-1388c.






(1) To conduct social, economic, and demographic research on topics important to the Social Security Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs and the current and future well-being of their beneficiaries; (2) to develop and carry out experiments and research demonstration projects to determine the efficacy of: (a) alternative ways of rehabilitating beneficiaries and encouraging their return to work; and (b) modifying conditions applicable to such beneficiaries including: (i) early referral for rehabilitation services; and (ii) greater use of employers and others in the rehabilitation and placement process.


Types of Assistance

Project Grants (Cooperative Agreements).


Uses and Use Restrictions

Grants are awarded for innovative research and demonstrations which add to existing knowledge and improve methods and techniques for the management, administration, and effectiveness of Social Security Administration (SSA) programs. Grant funds may not be used for construction or major renovation of buildings.


Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Applicants applying for grant funds may include State and local governments, educational institutions, hospitals, public and private organizations, and nonprofit and profit organizations. Private individuals are not eligible to apply. Profit organizations may apply with the understanding that no grant funds may be paid as profit to grant recipients. Profit is considered any amount in excess of the allowable costs of the grant recipient. A profit organization is a corporation or other legal entity that is organized or operated for the profit or benefit of its shareholders or other owners and must be distinguishable or legally separable from that of an individual acting on his/her own behalf.

Beneficiary Eligibility

State agencies, local governments, educational institutions, hospitals, nonprofit organizations, and profit organizations are eligible to apply for grant funding.


Costs and administrative requirements for grantees will be determined in accordance with Social Security Administration regulations 20 CFR 435 and 437.


Application and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Not applicable. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Application Procedure

SSA prefers that applications be submitted electronically through The "Getting Started" webpage is available to help explain the registration and application submission process. If applicants experience problems with the steps related to registering to do business with the Federal government or application submission, the first point of contact is the support staff at If difficulties are not resolved, applicants may also contact the SSA Grants Management Team for assistance. Applicants without Internet access should contact the Grants Management Office for further information on applying. Please fax inquiries to the Grants Management Team at 410-966-9310 or mailed to: Grants Management Team, Office of Acquisition and Grants, Social Security Administration, Attention: SSA-OAG-05-1, 7111 Security Blvd., 1st Floor Rear Entrance, Baltimore, MD 21244. Also, SSA grant program announcements and application information can be obtained from the SSA/OAG Internet site at: To be considered for a grant award, all applicants must complete the prescribed application forms and submit them to the Grants Management Team. The application shall be executed by an individual authorized to act for the applicant agency or organization and who will assume the obligations imposed by the terms and conditions of the grant. As part of the project title, the applicant must clearly indicate whether the application submitted is in response to a priority area identified in a program announcement, and must reference the applicable priority area (e.g., "001") in which it is competing. At least three independent reviewers prepare written assessments of each program-relevant grant application. Applications found irrelevant to program objectives are returned to the applicants.

Award Procedure

OAG provides a Notice of Grant Award (or a Notice of Cooperative Agreement Award) as official notice for approved applications. The notice indicates award amount, the purpose of the award, award terms and conditions, the budget period, the anticipated project period, and the grantee's cost-sharing requirement.


Closing dates for receipt of grant applications are published in the Federal Register announcement (usually 60 to 90 days after date of publication in the Federal Register).

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Generally, 3 to 6 months after the closing date established in the Federal Register announcement.


There are no formal appeal procedures. If an application is not approved, the reasons will be stipulated in the denial notice.



Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Grantees are required to share the cost of projects. The cost-sharing ranges from 5 to 25 percent of total project costs. This program has no statutory formula.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Funds are usually granted for a period of 12 to 17 months. Funds, however, can be granted for a minimum of 3 months, and up to a maximum of 60 months.


Post Assistance Requirements


Progress and financial reports are required on all projects. Financial reports are required semi-annually. Interim financial reports are due within 30 days after the end of the first 6-month period. Quarterly progress reports are due within 30 days after the end of each quarter of the budget period. Comprehensive final progress and financial reports are due no later than 90 days after the grant expires.


Audits shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 and SSA regulations 20 CFR 435 and 437. In accordance with the provisions of (OMB) Circular A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations, "nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


Grantees must maintain financial records, supporting documents, statistical records and all other records pertinent to an award for 3 years. In the event of an audit, records must be maintained until all questions are resolved.


Financial Information

Account Identification



(Cooperative Agreements) FY 07 $22,855,055; FY 08 est not available; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$100,000 to $1,750,000. Figures may vary with type of program.


Program Accomplishments

In fiscal year 2005, there were 52 awards totaling $17,079,060 all for continuation of existing projects. There were no new awards. In FY 2006, SSA anticipates funding one new award for $7.7 million and 52 continuation awards totaling $15.0 million.


Regulations, Guidelines and Literature



Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Not applicable.

Headquarters Office

Phyllis Y. Smith, Chief, Grants Management Officer, Office of Operations Contracts and Grants, Office of Acquisition and Grants (OAG), DCFAM, Social Security Administration, 7111 Security Blvd., 1st Floor Rear Entrance, Baltimore, MD 21244. Telephone: (410) 965-9518.

Web Site Address


Related Programs

84.133, National Institute On Disability And Rehabilitation Research
93.048, Special Programs For The Aging-Title IV-And Title II-Discretionary Projects
93.648, Child Welfare Services Training Grants
93.779, Centers For Medicare And Medicaid Services (CMS) Research, Demonstrations And Evaluations
96.008, Social Security - Work Incentives Planning And Assistance Program


Examples of Funded Projects

(1) Poverty Among Older Women: A Cross National Perspective; (2) Disability Research Institute: Partnership in a New Paradigm; (3) Putting the Pieces Together for Employment; (4) Opening Doors to the Future for Adolescents with Special Healthcare Needs; (5) Making Work Pay: Reducing Medicaid and Social Security Barriers to Employment; (6) Work Incentive, Counseling and Assistance Program for SSI Recipients; and (7) Individual Planning for Self Sufficiency.


Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Generally, applications are evaluated on the following criteria: (1) Adequacy of project design; (2) relevance of the activity to the objectives of the program; (3) qualifications of personnel; (4) adequacy of facilities to conduct activity; (5) reasonableness of costs; and (6) usefulness of the results.


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