Social Security Disability:

Growing Funding and Administrative Problems

T-HRD-92-28: Published: Apr 27, 1992. Publicly Released: Apr 27, 1992.

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GAO discussed financial and administrative problems facing the Social Security Administration's (SSA) disability programs. GAO noted that: (1) factors that have led to increases in trust fund expenditures include rising disability application rates due to recent increases in unemployment rates, rising allowance rates at the state disability determination services and administrative law judge level, increases in termination rates due to the rate people leave the rolls, and pending class action suits; (2) SSA disability programs are also experiencing inordinate delays in processing initial disability applications; (3) error rates have increased, but almost all of the increases came from errors on denied cases; (4) one major cause for the increased processing time was the increase in disability application rates; (5) because of increasing DDS workloads, SSA is performing too few continuing disability reviews (CDR); and (6) failure to perform CDR increases the number of ineligible people that remain on the rolls and may erode public support for the program.

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