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Dr. Michael Wiseman

wisemanm@gwu.edu
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GWIPP Research: Michael Wiseman

This page features research funded through GWIPP and performed by Michael Wiseman.


Title: The Benefit Offset National Demonstration

Funding: Social Security Administration

Researcher: Michael Wiseman

Status: Current

Category: Social Policy

Summary: Currently, a person who receives Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) faces large disincentives for returning to work. A person on SSDI may attempt to work for nine months during a trial work period and make any amount of employment income without seeing an impact on her/his SSDI benefits. However, after the nine-month trial work period (and a three-month grace period), if the SSDI recipient makes more than what is termed "substantial gainful activity" (SGA, currently set at $1,000 per month), s/he loses her/his entire SSDI benefit at once. This is sometimes called a "cash cliff" because the person can make an extra $20 from work and lose $1,000 in benefits. The BOND project is a random assignment study that was mandated by Congress to explore the impacts of smoothing out this cliff, by offering a $1 reduction of benefits for every $2 in employment income over SGA. The intended goals of the offset are to encourage SSDI recipients to return to work and to reduce the overall costs of the SSDI program.


Title: Joint Contributions of SNAP and Unemployment Insurance to the Social Safety Net

Funding: USDA Economic Research Service

Researcher: Michael Wiseman

Status: Completed

Category: Social Policy

Summary: When viewed cross-sectionally, only a small proportion of those who receive unemployment insurance (UI) benefits also receive SNAP (formerly Food Stamps), even though many could qualify for SNAP receipt. The SNAP-UI project hypothesizes that there is a more complex relationship between use of these two safety net programs. By merging administrative SNAP and UI records from 2006-2009 in seven diverse states, this project hopes to illuminate the coincidence of SNAP and UI and understand better the characteristics of those who use both programs. The intent is to improve access to SNAP for those who are struggling in this difficult economy.


Title: Technical Assistance for the Administration for Children and Families

Funding: Administration for Children and Families

Researcher: Michael Wiseman

Start Date: October 2007

Status: Complete

Category: Social Policy

Summary: Project product will be the TANF Disability Transition Demonstration Initiative designed to motivate States to develop programs to encourage employment of individuals with health barriers to work.  It will also provide technical assistance to the Disability Transition Project by assisting in the development of a development of a draft initiative implementation and evaluation plan.


Title: Job-Centered Welfare: Review and Planning for UK/US Exchange

Funding: Rockefeller Foundation

Researcher: Michael Wiseman

Start Date: April 2004

Status: Completed

Category: Social Policy

Summary: A key element of British welfare reforms is a program of linking social assistance for working-age persons with efforts to work by collocating welfare and employment services in a single agency, called “Jobcentre Plus.” The Jobcentre Plus idea originated with visits by British policymakers to similar facilities in Wisconsin, and the program is similar in some respects to the “One-Stop” employment services centers fostered in the United States by the Workforce Investment Act. This project explores these transatlantic connections.


Title: The Open Method of Coordination

Funding: The Annie E. Casey Foundation/Rockefeller Foundation

Researcher: Michael Wiseman

Start Date: July 2003

Status: Completed

Category: Social Policy

Summary: The European Union has adopted procedures for identifying common member state goals for social welfare policy, monitoring progress toward attaining these ends, and sharing information on best practice and successful innovation. The system is known as the “Open Method of Coordination.” This project is intended to bring OMC ideas to the attention of American policy makers and to investigate possible application to issues of coordination of state Food Stamp, TANF, and Workforce Investment policies.


Title: High Performance Bonus Data for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

Funding: Department of Health and Human Services

Researcher: Michael Wiseman

Start Date: January 2003

Status: Completed

Category: Social Policy

Summary: Since April, 2002 the Office of Family Assistance of the Administration for Children and Families has contracted with GWIPP for consultative services on a range of issues related to design, operation, and evaluation of state Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs. Topics investigated include the TANF “High Performance Bonus,” requirements for state program descriptions, strategies for improving management, and results of various program evaluations. This work has involved TSPPPA students, and is ongoing.


Title: Office Policy

Funding: Social Security Administration

Researcher: Michael Wiseman

Start Date: February 2002

Status: Completed

Category: Social Policy

Summary: This project involved work on a variety of issues of concern to the Social Security Administration, including policy related to support for persons with disabilities, creating a “safety net” for the elderly after Social Security reform, and international policy comparison under auspices of the International Social Security Association.


Title: The Welfare We Want

Funding: The Rockefeller Foundation

Researcher: Michael Wiseman

Start Date: December 2001

Status: Completed

Category: Social Policy

Summary: Since 1997 Britain’s “New Labour” government has introduced the world’s most wide-ranging reform of social assistance. This project assembled a review of the Labour program by British authorities. The result is a book, The Welfare We Want? The British Challenge for American Reform (Policy Press) published in 2003 and various papers.


Title: HRA Program Initiatives

Funding: New York Human Resources Agency

Researcher: Michael Wiseman

Start Date: August 2001

Status: Completed

Category: Social Policy

Summary: This project focuses on various aspects of welfare reforms introduced in New York City by the administration of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani between 1997 and 2002, including conversion of welfare offices into “Job Centers,” development of the JobStat performance assessment system, and organization of special services tracks for persons with exceptional social services needs. The project produced various papers now under revision or submitted for publication.


Title: State TANF Strategies

Funding: APPAM

Researcher: Michael Wiseman

Start Date: June 2001

Status: Completed

Category: Social Policy

Summary: The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act of 1996 substantially increased the latitude granted states in the design of social assistance programs for families with children. This project critically examined aspects of the changes the states adopted.