Employment:

Social Security Administration's Efforts To Reexamine the Continuing Eligibility of Disabled Persons

HRD-82-91: Published: Jul 14, 1982. Publicly Released: Jul 14, 1982.

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GAO reviewed the recent efforts of the Social Security Administration (SSA) to reexamine the continued eligibility of persons on its disability insurance rolls.

GAO believes that there are several actions which SSA should take to help alleviate the hardships to severely impaired individuals and bring the reexamination efforts closer to the intended objectives.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) should require the Commissioner of SSA to notify all disability beneficiaries and explain to them the purposes of the Periodic Review and the importance of their providing complete and current medical evidence. If these reviews are to remain new determinations with little consideration given to the prior determination, this aspect should be fully explained to the beneficiaries.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of HHS should require the Commissioner of SSA to issue policy guidance to the State agencies emphasizing the uniqueness of the Periodic Review cases and the need for a full medical history in all cases. Specifically, SSA should establish a policy that can be uniformly applied by State agencies to ensure that a complete medical history is obtained and evaluated in all cases before benefits can be terminated for medical reasons. The medical history should cover the period from the initial disability determination and include medical information used in the initial determination.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of HHS should require the Commissioner of SSA to establish a processing time goal for managing the Periodic Review caseload that is commensurate with thorough development of medical evidence.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services

 

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