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Federal social security programs (11 - 20 of 84 items)
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...
Social Security: Long-Term Challenges Warrant Early Action
GAO-05-303T: Published: Feb 3, 2005. Publicly Released: Feb 3, 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 and also provides millions of Americans with disability insurance and survivors' benefits. Over the long term, as the baby boom generation retires and as Americans continue...
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...
Social Security: Reform Proposals Could Have a Variety of Effects on Distribution of Benefits and Payroll Taxes
GAO-04-872T: Published: Jun 15, 2004. Publicly Released: Jun 15, 2004.
Under the current Social Security benefit formula, retired workers can receive benefits at age 65 that equal about 50 percent of preretirement earnings for an illustrative low-wage worker but only about 30 percent for an illustrative high-wage worker. Factors other than earnings also influence the distribution of benefits, including the program's provisions for disabled workers, spouses, children,...
SSA Disability Decision Making: Additional Steps Needed to Ensure Accuracy and Fairness of Decisions at the Hearing Level
GAO-04-14: Published: Nov 12, 2003. Publicly Released: Nov 12, 2003.
Historically, the proportion of the Social Security Administration's (SSA) disability benefits claims that were approved has been lower for African-Americans than for whites. In 1992, GAO found that racial differences, largely at the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) level, could not be completely explained by factors related to the decision-making process. This report examines how race and other fac...