Social Security:

Observations on Demonstration Interviews With Disability Claimants

HRD-88-22BR: Published: Dec 3, 1987. Publicly Released: Jan 5, 1988.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed how well the Social Security Administration (SSA) implemented and evaluated its disability determination projects.

GAO found that: (1) delays in obtaining management approval for program regulations and procedures and in contracting for the projects' evaluation slowed implementation; (2) SSA plans to evaluate the demonstration projects within states, taking into account states' differing operations; and (3) because of the variations between states, the SSA data will not be statistically representative of the nation. GAO noted that a 1985 state reconsideration project showed that face-to-face interviews did not reduce appeal or reversal rates at the administrative-law-judge level. GAO believes that SSA proposals were generally responsive to its earlier recommendations for ensuring careful and consistent implementation of the projects.

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