Review of the Eligibility of Persons Converted From State Disability Rolls to the Supplemental Security Income Program

HRD-78-97: Published: Apr 18, 1978. Publicly Released: Apr 18, 1978.

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Social Security Administration's (SSA) activities relating to an assessment of the continued medical eligibility of over 2 million disabled Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients were reviewed. SSA was asked to evaluate two samples of SSI disabled recipients including an evaluation of: (1) medical evidence supporting the disability determination of 402 recipients who were converted to the SSI program from state disability programs; and (2) more recent medical evidence on 175 recipients. Of the 402 converted recipients, only 152, 38 percent, had sufficient medical evidence in their files to support a disability decision. Thirty-six of the 152 cases, 24 percent, were not disabled as defined by appropriate state disability criteria. About 10 percent of the 175 recipients for whom current medical evidence was obtained were no longer disabled. Once they are approved for the program, the vast majority of SSI disabled recipients are not subject to medical reexaminations. SSA assumes that these recipients have impairments which will not improve. The Commissioner, SSA, should immediately establish appropriate mechanisms for systematically reviewing the disabled recipients' caseload so that persons no longer disabled can be removed from the rolls. SSA should establish and implement systems for periodically reassessing the adequacy of guidelines for establishing diaries for the total disability caseload and reviewing, on a priority basis, the disability determinations for converted recipients.

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