Social security benefits (11 - 20 of 210 items)
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...
Social Security Disability: Management Controls Needed to Strengthen Demonstration Projects
GAO-08-1053: Published: Sep 26, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 26, 2008.
Since 1980, Congress has required the Social Security Administration (SSA) to conduct demonstration projects to test the effectiveness of possible changes to its Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs that could decrease individuals' dependence on benefits or improve program administration. However, in 2004, GAO reported that SSA had not used its...
Social Security Disability: Better Planning, Management, and Evaluation Could Help Address Backlogs
GAO-08-40: Published: Dec 7, 2007. Publicly Released: Jan 7, 2008.
For years, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has experienced processing delays and significant backlogs of disability claims. At the end of fiscal year 2006, some 1.5 million disability claims were awaiting a decision. About 576,000 of these claims were backlogged--exceeding the number of claims that should optimally be pending at year-end. In response to the congressional request, GAO (1)...
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...
Disability Programs: SSA Has Taken Steps to Address Conflicting Court Decisions, but Needs to Manage Data Better on the Increasing Number of Court Remands
GAO-07-331: Published: Apr 5, 2007. Publicly Released: Apr 5, 2007.
The Social Security Administration's (SSA) Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income programs provided around $128 billion to about 12.8 million persons with disabilities and their families in fiscal year 2005. Claimants who are denied benefits by SSA may appeal to federal courts. Through current initiatives, SSA is attempting to reduce the number of cases appealed to courts and remand...
Social Security Disability Programs: Clearer Guidance Could Help SSA Apply the Medical Improvement Standard More Consistently
GAO-07-8: Published: Oct 3, 2006. Publicly Released: Nov 2, 2006.
The Social Security Act requires that the Social Security Administration (SSA) find an improvement in a beneficiary's medical condition in order to remove him or her from either the Disability Insurance (DI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. GAO was asked to (1) examine the proportion of beneficiaries who have improved medically and (2) determine if factors associated with the standa...
Social Security Disability Programs: Survey of Disability Determination Services Directors, an E-supplement to GAO-07-8
GAO-07-4SP: Published: Oct 3, 2006. Publicly Released: Oct 3, 2006.
This document presents selected results of GAO's web-based survey of directors of state agencies responsible for determining whether Social Security disability beneficiaries remain eligible for benefits, given their current medical condition. These agencies, called Disability Determination Services, conduct periodic continuing disability reviews to determine whether beneficiaries' medical conditio...
Social Security: Societal Changes Add Challenges to Program Protections
GAO-05-706T: Published: May 17, 2005. Publicly Released: May 17, 2005.
Before Social Security was enacted in 1935, at least half of those 65 and older in the United States were financially dependent upon others, including family members and public assistance. Today, the elderly's dependency on public assistance has dropped to a fraction of its depression-era levels, and poverty rates among this group are now lower than for the population as a whole. However, Social S...
Social Security Reform: Answers to Key Questions
GAO-05-193SP: Published: May 2, 2005. Publicly Released: May 2, 2005.
The sooner our nation acts to address Social Security's long-term financial challenges, the easier it will be to successfully meet them. Once explained, the choices we face are not difficult to understand, but they are difficult to make. They affect both how much Americans pay for Social Security and how much they receive from the program. They require changes that not only will affect us but have...
Social Security Reform: Early Action Would be Prudent
GAO-05-397T: Published: Mar 9, 2005. Publicly Released: Mar 9, 2005.
Social Security is the foundation of the nation's retirement income system, helping to protect the vast majority of American workers and their families from poverty in old age. However, it is much more than a retirement program, also providing millions of Americans with disability insurance and survivors' benefits. Over the long term, as the baby boom generation retires and as Americans continue t...