SSA Disability: Enhanced Procedures and Guidance Could Improve Service and Reduce Overpayments to Concurrent Beneficiaries

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A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "In calendar year 2001, the Social Security Administration (SSA) paid cash benefits of $60 billion to more than six million working-age adults with disabilities and eligible family members under its Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) program, and $20 billion to more than 3.5 million working-age adults with disabilities under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. Some beneficiaries, known as concurrent beneficiaries, receive cash and medical benefits from both programs. Concurrent beneficiaries comprised about 14 percent of SSA's disability population; 58 percent have mental impairments, and about ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. September 5, 2002.

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Description

A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "In calendar year 2001, the Social Security Administration (SSA) paid cash benefits of $60 billion to more than six million working-age adults with disabilities and eligible family members under its Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) program, and $20 billion to more than 3.5 million working-age adults with disabilities under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. Some beneficiaries, known as concurrent beneficiaries, receive cash and medical benefits from both programs. Concurrent beneficiaries comprised about 14 percent of SSA's disability population; 58 percent have mental impairments, and about 53 percent are female. Eleven percent of concurrent beneficiaries worked and earned a median income of approximately $250 per month. There is little coordination between SSI and DI program rules for individuals who work and receive benefits from both programs concurrently. Because most field office staff specialize in one program, they may not be sufficiently knowledgeable of the procedures for the other program to ensure that concurrent beneficiaries who work are paid the appropriate benefit amount under both programs. Applying both SSI and DI program rules to concurrent beneficiaries may make it difficult for them to make informed decisions about attempting work and could result in an increase or decrease in overall income, depending on the amount of earnings. Concurrent beneficiaries may not receive adequate explanations from SSA staff or published materials about the complete effect work has on their disability benefits. However, because the rules are complex and may be difficult to understand even with a detailed explanation, beneficiaries who do not understand them could possibly make decisions about work that would not meet their needs or improve their situation."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • September 5, 2002

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. SSA Disability: Enhanced Procedures and Guidance Could Improve Service and Reduce Overpayments to Concurrent Beneficiaries, report, September 5, 2002; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc291278/: accessed December 13, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.