Disability benefits (1 - 10 of 45 items)
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...
Veterans' Disability Benefits: Improvements Needed to Better Ensure VA Unemployability Decisions Are Well Supported
GAO-15-735T: Published: Jul 15, 2015. Publicly Released: Jul 15, 2015.
The number of veterans receiving Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU) benefits has been increasing, as has the total amount of benefit payments, especially among older veterans. VA generally provides TDIU benefits to disabled veterans who are unable to maintain employment with earnings above the federal poverty guidelines due to service-connected disabilities. To be eligible for TDIU...
Social Security Disability Programs: SSA Could Take Steps to Improve Its Assessment of Continued Eligibility
GAO-14-492T: Published: Apr 9, 2014. Publicly Released: Apr 9, 2014.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) reported in January 2014 that it is behind schedule in assessing the continued eligibility of recipients in its two disability programs, Disability Insurance (DI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI),and has accumulated a backlog of 1.3 million continuing disability reviews (CDRs). From fiscal years 2000 to 2011, the numbers of adult and child CDRs conduc...
Supplemental Security Income: Preliminary Observations on Children with Mental Impairments
GAO-12-196T: Published: Oct 27, 2011. Publicly Released: Oct 27, 2011.
The Social Security Administration's (SSA) Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program provides cash benefits to eligible low-income disabled individuals, including children, as well as certain others. Children may generally qualify for SSI benefits if they meet certain financial requirements and are deemed to have a qualifying medically determinable physical or mental impairment of a specified dur...
Social Security Disability: Management of Disability Claims Workload Will Require Comprehensive Planning
GAO-10-667T: Published: Apr 27, 2010. Publicly Released: Apr 27, 2010.
For years, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has been challenged to manage its large disability claims workload. Difficulties in making timely and accurate decisions have contributed to backlogs accumulating at different levels of the claims process. These backlogs have occurred most often at the hearings level, the level at which initial claims that were denied are appealed and await a hea...
Social Security Disability: Additional Performance Measures and Better Cost Estimates Could Help Improve SSA's Efforts to Eliminate Its Hearings Backlog
GAO-09-398: Published: Sep 9, 2009. Publicly Released: Sep 9, 2009.
(SSA) has experienced processing delays and significant backlogs of disability claims at the hearings level. In May 2007, SSA began implementing a plan for eliminating the hearings backlog entitled Summary of Initiatives to Eliminate the SSA Hearings Backlog (the Plan). In response to a congressional request, GAO (1) examined the Plan's potential to eliminate the hearings-level backlog, (2) determ...
Social Security Administration: Further Actions Needed to Address Disability Claims and Service Delivery Challenges
GAO-09-511T: Published: Mar 24, 2009. Publicly Released: Mar 24, 2009.
For years, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has experienced challenges managing a large disability workload and making timely decisions. In fiscal year 2006, SSA made about 3.7 million disability claims decisions, while over a million were awaiting a decision. Further, SSA has faced staffing challenges and difficulties managing its workloads at its network of approximately 1,300 field offi...
Social Security Disability: Collection of Medical Evidence Could Be Improved with Evaluations to Identify Promising Collection Practices
GAO-09-149: Published: Dec 17, 2008. Publicly Released: Dec 17, 2008.
The timely collection of relevant medical evidence from providers, such as physicians and psychologists, is key to the Social Security Administration (SSA) process for deciding whether an estimated 2.5 million new claimants each year have impairments that qualify them to receive disability benefits. The initial determinations are generally made by state agencies called Disability Determination Ser...
Federal Disability Programs: More Strategic Coordination Could Help Overcome Challenges to Needed Transformation
GAO-08-635: Published: May 20, 2008. Publicly Released: May 27, 2008.
In 2003, GAO designated federal disability programs as a high-risk area because federal disability programs remained grounded in outmoded concepts that have not been updated to reflect the current state of science, medicine, technology, and labor market conditions. In addition, the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) faced management challenges, especia...
SSA Disability Representatives: Fee Payment Changes Show Promise, but Eligibility Criteria and Representative Overpayments Require Further Monitoring
GAO-08-5: Published: Oct 15, 2007. Publicly Released: Oct 15, 2007.
The Social Security Protection Act of 2004 temporarily expanded the practice of paying representatives' fees directly out of a claimant's benefits. This practice, known as fee withholding, was previously available only to attorneys in Disability Insurance (DI) cases. It has been extended to attorneys in Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cases, and to nonattorneys--who meet eligibility criteria--i...