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Qualifying for Disability Benefits in Puerto Rico Based on an Inability to Speak English

June 20, 2015 Comments off

Qualifying for Disability Benefits in Puerto Rico Based on an Inability to Speak English
Source: Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General

The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a five-step sequential evaluation process for determining whether a claimant qualifies for disability benefits. In claims that reach the last step in the process, adjudicators use medical-vocational guidelines (grids) developed in the 1970s to guide them in deciding a claimant’s physical and vocational abilities to adjust to work in the national economy.

When deciding a case under the grids, adjudicators evaluate a claimant’s physical capacity to work along with age, education, and work experience. The ability to speak, read, write, and understand English is considered an educational factor. A claimant’s inability to communicate in English can lessen the relevance of work experience and education, potentially making it more likely the claimant will receive disability benefits.

The objective of our audit was to analyze the effect of regulations requiring that disability adjudicators allow a disability claim based on a claimant’s inability to understand the English language for claimants residing in Puerto Rico.

Overpayments in the Social Security Administration’s Disability Programs – A 10-Year Study

June 9, 2015 Comments off

Overpayments in the Social Security Administration’s Disability Programs – A 10-Year Study
Source: Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General

We selected for review a sample of 1,532 beneficiaries from a file of 8.9 million beneficiaries who were receiving disability payments in October 2003.

We originally reviewed these 1,532 cases for an April 2006 audit.

Our objective of this report is to study 1,532 beneficiaries who received disability benefits in October 2003 to determine the amount of overpayments in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) disability programs between October 2003 and February 2014 (just over a 10-year period).

Congressional Response Report: Payment of Social Security Benefits to Individuals Who May Have Participated in Nazi Persecution

June 2, 2015 Comments off

Congressional Response Report: Payment of Social Security Benefits to Individuals Who May Have Participated in Nazi Persecution
Source: Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General

The Social Security Act prohibits paying retirement and/or disability benefits to individuals who are placed under a final order of deportation or removal from the United States for participating in Nazi persecution or committing crimes of genocide.

On October 20, 2014, we received a request from Representative Carolyn Maloney to review the payment of Social Security benefits to individuals who participated in Nazi persecution during World War II.

On December 18, 2014, the President signed the No Social Security for Nazis Act into law. The law terminates the payment of Social Security benefits to additional individuals who participated in Nazi persecution.

For our review, we obtained information from SSA and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to determine that 133 individuals who may have participated in Nazi persecution received Social Security benefits.

The objective of our audit was to determine the amount of benefits SSA paid to individuals who may have participated in Nazi persecution. We also determined whether SSA properly stopped benefits to individuals who participated in Nazi persecution in accordance with the No Social Security for Nazis Act.

Top 10 Baby Names For 2014

May 19, 2015 Comments off

Top 10 Baby Names For 2014
Source: Social Security Administration

Rank Male name Female name
1 Noah Emma
2 Liam Olivia
3 Mason Sophia
4 Jacob Isabella
5 William Ava
6 Ethan Mia
7 Michael Emily
8 Alexander Abigail
9 James Madison
10 Daniel Charlotte

Social Security — OASDI Beneficiaries by State and ZIP Code, 2013

November 7, 2014 Comments off

Social Security — OASDI Beneficiaries by State and ZIP Code, 2013
Source: Social Security Administration

This annual publication focuses on the Social Security beneficiary population at the ZIP Code level. It presents basic program data on the number and type of beneficiaries and the amount of benefits paid in each state, Social Security Administration field office, and ZIP Code. It also shows the number of beneficiaries aged 65 or older.

Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 74, No. 4 (released November 2014)

November 6, 2014 Comments off

Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 74, No. 4
Source: Social Security Administration

How Effective Is the Social Security Statement? Informing Younger Workers about Social Security
by Barbara A. Smith and Kenneth A. Couch
The Social Security Administration began mailing annual earnings and benefit statements to workers aged 60 or older in 1995, and increased its mailings to include workers in younger age groups in succeeding years. In 1998, the agency commissioned the Gallup Organization to evaluate the effects of these statements on the public’s knowledge of Social Security programs and benefits. This article briefly describes the development and implementation of the Social Security Statement; discusses the Gallup surveys conducted in 1998 and 2001; and uses data from those surveys to compare, for workers aged 46 or younger, knowledge about Social Security before and after receipt of the Social Security Statement.

Incentivizing Delayed Claiming of Social Security Retirement Benefits Before Reaching the Full Retirement Age
by Melissa A. Z. Knoll and Anya Olsen
Claiming Social Security retirement benefits before the full retirement age (FRA) results in permanently lower benefits, while delaying claiming permanently increases benefits. This article uses Modeling Income in the Near Term data to determine the socioeconomic characteristics of individuals who claim at various ages. The authors then describe a number of novel approaches aimed at encouraging individuals to delay claiming in the months and years before reaching their FRA. Lastly, the authors model one of those approaches to examine how a 1-year delay in claiming affects benefits and poverty in the future.
Improving Access to Benefits for Persons with Disabilities Who Were Experiencing Homelessness: An Evaluation of the Benefits Entitlement Services Team

Demonstration Project
by Elizabeth Kennedy and Laura King
This study uses administrative data to evaluate the outcomes of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Disability Insurance (DI) applications submitted through the Benefits Entitlement Services Team (B.E.S.T) project, an initiative funded by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services to help individuals experiencing homelessness apply for SSI payments and/or DI benefits. The authors discuss the allowance rates and processing times for B.E.S.T applications, the combination of internal and external methods that supported the B.E.S.T application process, and the characteristics of B.E.S.T applications that increased the likelihood of an allowance.

Social Security Programs Throughout the World: Europe, 2014

October 24, 2014 Comments off

Social Security Programs Throughout the World: Europe, 2014
Source: Social Security Administration

This first issue in the current four-volume series of Social Security Programs Throughout the World reports on the countries of Europe. The combined findings of this series, which also includes volumes on Asia and the Pacific, Africa, and the Americas, are published at six-month intervals over a two-year period. Each volume highlights features of social security programs in the particular region.

The information contained in these volumes is crucial to our efforts, and those of researchers in other countries, to review different ways of approaching social security challenges that will enable us to adapt our social security systems to the evolving needs of individuals, households, and families. These efforts are particularly important as each nation faces major demographic changes, especially the increasing number of aged persons, as well as economic and fiscal issues.

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