Disability benefits (11 - 20 of 82 items)
Social Security Disability: Additional Outreach and Collaboration on Sharing Medical Records Would Improve Wounded Warrior's Access to Benefits
GAO-09-762: Published: Sep 16, 2009. Publicly Released: Oct 15, 2009.
Disability benefits available through the Social Security Administration (SSA) can be an important source of financial support for some wounded warriors, and Congress has mandated that the Departments of Defense (DOD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) help them learn about and apply for such benefits. GAO was asked to determine: (1) how many wounded warriors have applied and been approved for SSA benefits...
Railroad Retirement Board: Review of Commuter Railroad Occupational Disability Claims Reveals Potential Program Vulnerabilities
GAO-09-821R: Published: Sep 9, 2009. Publicly Released: Oct 8, 2009.
In fall 2008, a series of news reports revealed the relatively high number of workers at one commuter railroad--the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR)-- who have applied for and been approved for occupational disability benefits by the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (RRB). According to RRB officials, a number of federal agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Social Security Administrat...
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...
Social Security Disability Insurance: SSA Actions Could Enhance Assistance to Claimants with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Other Impairments
GAO-05-495: Published: May 31, 2005. Publicly Released: May 31, 2005.
Advocates for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) believe that the Social Security Administration's (SSA) process for determining eligibility for Disability Insurance (DI) may treat some claimants unfairly. As a result, claimants with IBD believe they are likely to be denied benefits at the initial decision and reconsideration levels, making it necessary for them to appeal to SSA's hear...
SSA's Disability Programs: Improvements Could Increase the Usefulness of Electronic Data for Program Oversight
GAO-05-100R: Published: Dec 10, 2004. Publicly Released: Dec 10, 2004.
In 2003, we added the federal government's disability programs to our high-risk list in part because of difficulties agencies faced in managing these programs and the expected growth in the rolls as baby boomers reach their disability-prone years. The Social Security Administration (SSA) manages the federal government's two largest disability programs, the Disability Insurance (DI) program and the...
Social Security Administration: More Effort Needed to Assess Consistency of Disability Decisions
GAO-04-656: Published: Jul 2, 2004. Publicly Released: Jul 2, 2004.
Each year, about 2.5 million people file claims with the Social Security Administration (SSA) for disability benefits. If the claim is denied at the initial level, the claimant may appeal to the hearings level. The hearings level has allowed more than half of all appealed claims, an allowance rate that has raised concerns about the consistency of decisions made at the two levels. To help ensure co...