Effects of Budget Constraints on SSA Disability Program

T-HRD-88-1: Published: Oct 6, 1987. Publicly Released: Oct 6, 1987.

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GAO discussed the effects of budget constraints that the Social Security Administration (SSA) imposed on state disability determination services (DDS). GAO found that: (1) SSA reduced DDS staffing for fiscal year (FY) 1987 by 3.7 percent, with 40 DDS suffering staff reductions; (2) SSA limited the number of continuing disability reviews (CDR) that it required states to do in FY 1987; (3) the reduction of CDR work loads may have cost the Disability Insurance Trust Fund more than $200 million in unnecessary benefit payments; (4) the SSA productivity measurement system did not provide accurate or uniform productivity comparisons among DDS; and (5) DDS personnel expressed concern that budget constraints could negatively affect CDR quality. GAO believes that SSA should seek sufficient resources for DDS to process more CDR.

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