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Worker and Family Assistance (21 - 30 of 1,684 items)
Higher Education: Actions Needed to Improve Access to Federal Financial Assistance for Homeless and Foster Youth
GAO-16-343: Published: May 19, 2016. Publicly Released: May 19, 2016.
Available research suggests that a lower percentage of youth who have been in foster care enroll in and complete college compared to other youth, but little is known about homeless youth. While the Departments of Education (Education) and Health and Human Services (HHS) administer programs that can help them with college, Education data from 2009 (the latest available) indicate that a lower percen...
Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program: Improvements Made but Information on Performance Goals Still Needed
GAO-16-617T: Published: Apr 26, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 26, 2016.
GAO's 2009 report on the Public Safety Officers' Benefits (PSOB) program— created to provide certain benefits in cases of public safety officers' death or total disability in the line of duty—identified issues with the timeliness of claims processing, program awareness, and performance measurement. Specifically, GAO found that death and education claims were processed faster than disability cl...
Unaccompanied Children: HHS Should Improve Monitoring and Information Sharing Policies to Enhance Child Advocate Program Effectiveness
GAO-16-367: Published: Apr 19, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 19, 2016.
In fiscal year 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) expanded the child advocate program from two locations to five and added three more locations in fiscal year 2016. The child advocate program—operated by a contractor—was developed in 2004 to promote the best interests of especially vulnerable unaccompanied children in ORR custody. Advo...
Disability Insurance: SSA Needs to Better Track Efforts and Evaluate Options to Recover Debt and Deter Potential Fraud
GAO-16-331: Published: Apr 13, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 13, 2016.
In fiscal year 2015, the Social Security Administration (SSA) recovered $857 million in Disability Insurance (DI) overpayments that it erroneously made to beneficiaries; however, SSA is missing opportunities to recover more. More than three-fourths of the recovered overpayments in fiscal year 2015 were collected by withholding all or a portion of a beneficiary's monthly benefits. SSA's policy is t...
Social Security Disability: SSA Could Increase Savings by Refining Its Selection of Cases for Disability Review
GAO-16-250: Published: Feb 11, 2016. Publicly Released: Mar 14, 2016.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) selects cases for continuing disability reviews (CDR) using several inputs, but it does not do so in a manner that maximizes potential savings. SSA first prioritizes CDRs required by law or agency policy such as those for children under 1 year old who are receiving benefits due in part to low birth weight. Then SSA uses statistical models to identify the re...
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: Update on States Counting Third-Party Expenditures toward Maintenance of Effort Requirements
GAO-16-315: Published: Feb 10, 2016. Publicly Released: Mar 10, 2016.
Nearly one-third of states (16 of 51) reported counting nongovernmental third-party expenditures toward their states' required spending level under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Family (TANF) block grant in fiscal year 2015, according to GAO's survey of all state TANF directors. TANF requires states to maintain a significant portion of their own historic financial commitment, called maintenan...
Unaccompanied Children: HHS Can Improve Monitoring of Their Care
GAO-16-429T: Published: Feb 23, 2016. Publicly Released: Feb 23, 2016.
In fiscal year 2014, nearly 57,500 children traveling without their parents or guardians (referred to as unaccompanied children) were apprehended and transferred to the care of the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). Most of these children were from Central America. GAO found that ORR was initially unprepared to care for that many children; however, the a...
Foster Care: HHS Could Do More to Support States' Efforts to Keep Children in Family-Based Care
GAO-16-85: Published: Oct 9, 2015. Publicly Released: Nov 9, 2015.
Eight states GAO reviewed had a variety of efforts under way to help ensure they placed foster children in family-based settings rather than in group homes or institutions, also known as congregate care. Federal law requires that foster children have a case plan designed to achieve placement in the least restrictive (most family like) and most appropriate setting available, consistent with their n...
Workers' Compensation: Health Benefit Programs for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and for Employees of U.S. Agency for International Development Contractors
GAO-16-28R: Published: Oct 30, 2015. Publicly Released: Oct 30, 2015.
Peace Corps and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) both provide health benefits through workers' compensation programs. Peace Corps provides benefits to returned Peace Corps volunteers who sustain illnesses or injuries connected to their Peace Corps service under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA) program administered by the Department of Labor (DOL). USAID provides...
Child Welfare: Steps Have Been Taken to Address Unregulated Custody Transfers of Adopted Children
GAO-15-733: Published: Sep 16, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 16, 2015.
Some adoptive families may consider giving their children to another family outside of the courts and child welfare system—an “unregulated child custody transfer”—because of a crisis within the adoptive family and difficulties accessing support services, according to officials GAO interviewed from selected states, child welfare and adoption organizations, and adoption agencies. Children ad...