Launched in 2018, the Veterans Coordinated Approach to Recovery and Employment (Veterans CARE) Project was the first Pay for Success project to explicitly focus on supporting veterans and the first multi-state project of its kind. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the City of Boston, and the New York City Department of Veterans’ Services collectively committed to pay up to $6 million in outcome payments through June 2021 if the program’s enrolled veterans achieved positive outcomes.
The Tuscaloosa Research and Education Advancement Corporation (TREAC) coordinated the implementation of services. Social Finance served as the intermediary, providing project structuring and ongoing impact management support. A third-party independent evaluation was conducted by Westat.
Through Veterans CARE, local VA medical centers delivered Individual Placement and Support (IPS), a personalized approach to supported employment, to 322 veterans over three years. Five lenders participated in the project, committing a total of $5.1 million to help unemployed or underemployed veterans with service-connected post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) attain competitive, compatible employment through the application of IPS.
Although service delivery under the Veterans CARE Pay for Success Project ended in September 2021, IPS services will continue to be provided at the New York City site through the VA New York Harbor Healthcare System’s Whole Health Program, a program focused on providing holistic care for the health and well-being of veterans. Following sustained, strong veteran employment outcomes, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts provided additional funding to extend IPS service delivery at its sites beginning in October 2021.
Goals of the Project
- Support unemployed or underemployed Veterans with PTSD in attaining competitive, compatible employment
- Expand high-quality IPS services to veterans who can’t currently access these services
- Serve as a demonstration project for the use of the Pay for Success model within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
How It Works
Consortium of government partners
Make payments if outcomes are achieved
Develop project, mobilize capital, manage for results
Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center
Facilitate delivery of IPS
Achieve sustained, meaningful employment
Provide upfront capital
- Expanded access to IPS for 322 veterans with PTSD across VA medical centers in four geographies, including New York City, Brockton (MA), Jamaica Plain (MA), and Boston.
- Enrolled a high-priority population at risk of experiencing unemployment or underemployment: 58% of veterans included in the project’s evaluation obtained at least one competitive job.
- Improved management of PTSD symptoms in enrolled veterans: 46% of veterans’ PTSD symptoms scores stabilized or decreased while enrolled in IPS.
- Adjusted service delivery to meet Covid-19 challenges, during which the project’s employment rate grew from 42% to 58%, driven by holistic veteran support, highly individualized employment placement work, and the resiliency and agility of IPS teams.
Video: Army Veteran George Robertson, Social Finance’s Tracy Palandjian, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, City of Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, and other partners discuss the Veterans CARE
- Project Video
- Press Release
- Fact Sheet
- Video from BNP Paribas
- “Supporting Veterans With PTSD: Enabling an Individualized Approach to Job Search and Placement,” Social Finance
- Veterans CARE Project Summary: December 2021
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provided $3 million in outcomes payments for the project.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the City of Boston, and the New York City Department of Veterans’ Services served as matching outcomes payors for the project.
The Tuscaloosa Research & Educational Advancement Corporation supported local VA medical centers to offer IPS, an evidence-based employment service, for veterans with PTSD.
Social Finance supported the design and financial structuring of the project, raised the capital, and provided active performance management services for the duration of the project.
Westat will lead the evaluation of the project.
Jones Day served as legal counsel to Social Finance for the project.
Wilmington Trust served as fiscal agent and custodian for the project.
In the News
- “‘Government only pays for the positive outcomes.’ A strikingly new approach to social problems,” The Washington Post
- “‘Pay for Success’: An idea with bipartisan appeal,” Governing
- “Social Impact Bonds: Something Democrats and Republicans agree on,” Forbes
- “A new public finance tool to help the most vulnerable,” Time