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SOCIAL SECURITY UPDATE – MID 2015

SOCIAL SECURITY UPDATE – MID 2015
By Scott B. Elkind, Esq.

The Office of the Inspector General’s Semi-Annual Report for the Social Security
Administration contains several notable findings:

  • $3B in questioned costs
  • $382M in federal funds which could be put to better use
  • $469M in immediate and projected investigative recoveries
  • Projected costs of “outlier” judges with “high disposition rate” have resulted in improper approval of 24,900 cases costing $2B
  • Imposition of $7M in penalties and assessment against persons making false statements, representations and omissions to obtain or retain Social Security benefits
  • Need to improve customer service due to loss of most experienced employees constituting 45% of personnel and 54% of supervisors to retire by 2022
  • Need to increase multilingual services
  • Need to improve administration of Representative Payee Program
  • Inability to manage current and future workloads without new technological infrastructure
  • Expected challenges in executing and implementing major IT projects and delivering on-schedule functionalities within budget
  • Currently paying $800B in benefits per year to 60M people
  • Hearing backlog approaching 1M, up from 705,000 in 2010
  • Average wait time for a hearing at 353 days in 2012 has been “reduced” (no exact number given)
  • Need to take steps to better protect SSNs
  • Reduction of “outlier” judge activities through disciplinary actions including oversight and monitoring of workloads, training, counseling, suspension and termination
  • Continuing problems with Death Master File with $3B in income reported to persons 112 years or older
  • The Cooperative Disability Investigations Program which coordinates OIG, SSA, State DDS, and state/local law enforcement agencies saved $270M last year
  • Resignation of administrative law judge following investigation for viewing child pornography on his SSA workstation
Posted in Social Security Disability Benefits | Tagged , , , |

 

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