The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers two of the nation's largest cash benefits programs for people with disabilities: the Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) program, which provides benefits to workers with disabilities and their family members, and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, which provides income for individuals with disabilities who have limited income and resources. In 2008, SSA provided about $142 billion in financial benefits for these two programs. As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the federal government also paid $250 to each SSA recipient, such as DI beneficiaries, SSI recipients, and old-age retirement beneficiaries. GAO was asked to (1) determine whether federal employees and commercial drivers and company owners may be improperly receiving disability benefits and (2) develop case study examples of individuals who fraudulently and/or improperly receive these benefits. To do this, GAO compared DI and SSI benefit data to civilian payroll records of certain federal agencies and carrier/driver records from the Department of Transportation (DOT) and 12 selected states. GAO also interviewed SSA disability beneficiaries and recipients.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Social Security Administration||To enhance SSA's ability to detect and prevent fraudulent and improper payments in its disability programs, and to improve the agency's processes, the Commissioner of Social Security should evaluate the feasibility (including consideration of any costs and operational and system modifications) of incorporating the AERO process to identify individuals who have returned to work.|
|Social Security Administration||To enhance SSA's ability to detect and prevent fraudulent and improper payments in its disability programs, and to improve the agency's processes, the Commissioner of Social Security should evaluate the feasibility of periodically matching SSA disability beneficiaries and recipients to federal payroll data. Such matches would provide SSA with more timely data to help SSA systematically and more effectively identify federal employees who are likely to incur overpayments.|