Equal Opportunity:

SSI Disability Issues

HEHS-95-154R: Published: May 11, 1995. Publicly Released: May 11, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on several Supplemental Security Income (SSI) issues related to: (1) SSI outreach activities; (2) the status of continuing disability reviews involving interpreter fraud; (3) the function of referral and monitoring agencies (RMA) in overseeing the drug addict and alcoholic populations; and (4) the number of drug and alcohol addicts in treatment. GAO noted that: (1) very few SSI outreach activities are targeted to drug addicts and alcoholics; (2) the Social Security Administration (SSA) has not requested funding for SSI outreach for fiscal years 1993 through 1996; (3) in two states, SSA continuing disability reviews are yielding a high rate of initial benefit terminations, of which about 60 percent have been appealed; (4) SSA is developing an interpreter database to understand the extent of the fraud problem; (5) RMA assess beneficiaries' treatment needs, make treatment referrals, monitor beneficiaries' compliance with treatment, and report their compliance status to SSA; (6) RMA do not conduct SSI outreach activities; (7) only 1 in 6 addicted beneficiaries are in required treatment, mainly due to the lack of RMA funding to monitor beneficiaries' treatment; and (8) in fiscal year 1996, the administration is requesting $195 million for RMA monitoring activities, which is a significant increase over 1990 through 1993 levels.

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