Priority Open Recommendations:
Social Security Administration
GAO-19-394SP: Published: Apr 5, 2019. Publicly Released: Apr 12, 2019.
Each year, we make more than 1,000 recommendations to help improve the federal government. We alert department heads to the recommendations where they can save the most money, address issues on our High Risk List, or significantly improve government operations.
This report outlines our 4 priority open recommendations for the Social Security Administration as of April 2019.
For example, we recommended SSA increase the minimum amount that it recoups from overpaid disability insurance beneficiaries.
Since our previous letter in March 2018, SSA implemented 3 of our priority recommendations.
Graphic showing that this report discusses GAO's 2019 priority recommendations for the Social Security Administration
What GAO Found
In February 2018, GAO identified seven open priority recommendations for the Social Security Administration (SSA). Since then, SSA has implemented three of those recommendations by, among other things, developing a plan to include physician-assisted fraud as part of its broader efforts to assess disability fraud risk.
As of January 2019, SSA has four remaining open priority recommendations from those GAO identified in 2018. These recommendations involve the following areas:
- reducing improper payments.
- increasing overpayment recovery.
SSA's continued attention to these issues could lead to significant improvements in government operations.
Why GAO Did This Study
Priority recommendations are open GAO recommendations that warrant priority attention from heads of key departments or agencies, because their implementation could save large amounts of money; improve congressional and/or executive branch decision making on major issues; eliminate mismanagement, fraud, and abuse; or ensure that programs comply with laws and funds are legally spent, among other benefits. Since 2015 GAO has sent letters to selected agencies to highlight the importance of implementing such recommendations.
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