Results of Investigation Into Alleged Quotas Being Used by SSA To Terminate Disability Insurance Benefits

HRD-82-88: Published: Jun 3, 1982. Publicly Released: Jul 6, 1982.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO visited the Social Security Administration (SSA) District Office in Memphis, Tennessee, to investigate an anonymous allegation that quotas were used to terminate the benefits of disability insurance recipients. The allegation claimed that employees were being pressured to meet quotas in terminating disability benefits under the SSA continuing disability investigation (CDI) program.

GAO concluded that the allegation regarding a specific quota for terminations was groundless at the Memphis District Office. Its conclusion was based on the following: (1) District Office employees are not directly involved in making CDI decisions, since they only provide support services to the State Disability Determination Service; (2) for initial disability claims, the District Office accepts applications and makes earnings determinations, but does no medical development or evaluation; (3) although many employees voiced criticisms of the CDI program, they seemed to understand the philosophy behind the program, the constraints the State operated under, and the reasons why people were terminated; and (4) there was ample opportunity for SSA employees to contact GAO anonymously with information or opinions regarding any quotas.

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