Priority Open Recommendations: Social Security Administration

GAO-20-426PR Published: Apr 17, 2020. Publicly Released: Apr 24, 2020.
Jump To:
Fast Facts

Each year, we make more than 1,000 recommendations to help improve the federal government. We alert department heads to the recommendations where they can save the most money, address issues on our High Risk List, or significantly improve government operations.

This report outlines our 7 priority open recommendations for the Social Security Administration as of April 2020.

For example, we recommended that SSA strengthen oversight of organizations that manage money for vulnerable beneficiaries to ensure their benefits are not misused.

Since our previous letter in April 2019, SSA has not implemented any of our priority recommendations.

Social Security Administration Priority Recommendations Graphic

Social Security Administration Priority Recommendations Graphic

Skip to Highlights

What GAO Found

In April 2019, GAO identified four open priority recommendations for the Social Security Administration (SSA). In April 2020, GAO identified three additional open priority recommendations for SSA, bringing the total number to seven. These recommendations involve the following areas:

  • ensuring program integrity;
  • protecting vulnerable beneficiaries; and
  • improving cybersecurity.

SSA's continued attention to these issues could lead to significant improvements in government operations.

Why GAO Did This Study

Priority open recommendations are the GAO recommendations that warrant priority attention from heads of key departments or agencies because their implementation could save large amounts of money; improve congressional and/or executive branch decision making on major issues; eliminate mismanagement, fraud, and abuse; or ensure that programs comply with laws and funds are legally spent, among other benefits. Since 2015 GAO has sent letters to selected agencies to highlight the importance of implementing such recommendations.

For more information, contact Elizabeth Curda at 202-512-4040 or

Full Report

GAO Contacts