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Worker and Family Assistance (11 - 20 of 1,682 items)
Foster Care: Most Tribes Do Not Anticipate Challenges with Case Goal Changes, but HHS Could Further Promote Guardianship Assistance
GAO-16-625: Published: Aug 8, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 7, 2016.
To receive federal child welfare funding, state and tribal child welfare agencies must comply with certain requirements, including developing a permanency plan for the child that identifies how the child will exit the foster care system to a permanent home (“case goal”). If other case goals, such as reunifying with parents, adoption, or guardianship are not possible or appropriate, a child may...
Military Personnel: DOD Needs More Complete Data on Active-Duty Servicemembers' Use of Food Assistance Programs
GAO-16-561: Published: Jul 15, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 15, 2016.
Active-duty servicemembers and their families have access to food assistance through various government and charitable programs, but use of these programs varies, in part, on their ability to meet specific eligibility criteria. In an April 2010 report, GAO identified 18 government programs that provide food assistance to low-income households. Servicemembers may apply for and, if they qualify, rec...
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Policy Changes and Calculation Methods Likely Affect Improper Payment Rates, and USDA Is Taking Steps to Help Address Recipient Fraud [Reissued on July 8, 2016]
GAO-16-708T: Published: Jul 6, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 6, 2016.
Over the last 10 years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has reported that improper payment rates for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) have ranged from an estimated 5.8 percent to 3.2 percent of all payments, likely reflecting, in part, certain policy changes and calculation methods. Many factors affect low-income households' eligibility for SNAP and the amount of bene...
Federal Autism Activities: Agencies Are Encouraging Early Identification and Providing Services, and Recent Actions Could Improve Coordination
GAO-16-446: Published: May 20, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 20, 2016.
Federal agencies have taken various actions to encourage early autism identification and interventions, such as specifically soliciting research in these areas. From fiscal year 2012 through fiscal year 2015, the departments of Defense (DOD), Education, and Health and Human Services (HHS), awarded about $395 million for research on early identification and interventions for autism.Federal programs...
Unemployment Insurance: States' Customer Service Challenges and DOL's Related Assistance
GAO-16-430: Published: May 12, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 13, 2016.
In GAO focus groups of recent claimants filing for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, those who filed by phone reported experiencing various challenges, such as long call wait times; however, those filing for benefits online reported that it was generally easy to do. In all six of the focus groups GAO conducted in the three states it visited, individuals who had claimed benefits by phone betwee...
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Enhanced Detection Tools and Reporting to Combat Recipient Fraud Are in Development
GAO-16-719T: Published: Jun 9, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 9, 2016.
In 2014, GAO found that selected states employed a range of tools to detect potential Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipient fraud, but they faced challenges, including inadequate staffing levels, that limited the effectiveness of their actions, and the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) lacked data about the states' efforts. The 11 states GAO studied reported using detection too...
Higher Education: Actions Needed to Improve Access to Federal Financial Assistance for Homeless and Foster Youth
GAO-16-343: Published: May 19, 2016. Publicly Released: May 19, 2016.
Available research suggests that a lower percentage of youth who have been in foster care enroll in and complete college compared to other youth, but little is known about homeless youth. While the Departments of Education (Education) and Health and Human Services (HHS) administer programs that can help them with college, Education data from 2009 (the latest available) indicate that a lower percen...
Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program: Improvements Made but Information on Performance Goals Still Needed
GAO-16-617T: Published: Apr 26, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 26, 2016.
GAO's 2009 report on the Public Safety Officers' Benefits (PSOB) program— created to provide certain benefits in cases of public safety officers' death or total disability in the line of duty—identified issues with the timeliness of claims processing, program awareness, and performance measurement. Specifically, GAO found that death and education claims were processed faster than disability cl...
Unaccompanied Children: HHS Should Improve Monitoring and Information Sharing Policies to Enhance Child Advocate Program Effectiveness
GAO-16-367: Published: Apr 19, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 19, 2016.
In fiscal year 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) expanded the child advocate program from two locations to five and added three more locations in fiscal year 2016. The child advocate program—operated by a contractor—was developed in 2004 to promote the best interests of especially vulnerable unaccompanied children in ORR custody. Advo...
Disability Insurance: SSA Needs to Better Track Efforts and Evaluate Options to Recover Debt and Deter Potential Fraud
GAO-16-331: Published: Apr 13, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 13, 2016.
In fiscal year 2015, the Social Security Administration (SSA) recovered $857 million in Disability Insurance (DI) overpayments that it erroneously made to beneficiaries; however, SSA is missing opportunities to recover more. More than three-fourths of the recovered overpayments in fiscal year 2015 were collected by withholding all or a portion of a beneficiary's monthly benefits. SSA's policy is t...