Social Security Administration:

Major Changes in SSA's Business Processes Are Imperative

T-AIMD-94-106: Published: Apr 14, 1994. Publicly Released: Apr 14, 1994.

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GAO discussed the proposed restructuring of the Social Security Administration's (SSA) disability insurance determination process, focusing on: (1) the reasons for the restructuring; and (2) major implementation issues. GAO noted that: (1) the proposed restructuring will address major fundamental changes needed to cope with increasing disability determination workloads and processing times; (2) SSA has begun automating its disability determination procedures without developing a business plan or analyzing the efficiency of the current process; (3) in response to GAO concerns, SSA has begun developing business and operational services plans and redesigning its disability determination process; (4) SSA proposes to reduce the time period for rendering initial decisions on claims by designating a claims manager for each claim, reducing the number of steps needed for decisionmaking, and providing claimants with information on the determination process and the status of their claims; and (5) SSA will need a well-trained, competent, and highly-motivated work force, a comprehensive quality assurance program, adequate information systems, the involvement of states, employees, and the public, and cost and performance assessments to render quality decisions within appropriate timeframes.

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