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Aug 1, 2011

More Funds For Continuing Disability Reviews And SSI Redeterminations

 From the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis of the debt ceiling bill to be voted upon tonight in Congress:
The bill would allow adjustments to the discretionary caps that would permit additional appropriations to:
  • The Social Security Administration (SSA) to conduct continuing disability reviews of beneficiaries of the Disability Insurance (DI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs and redeterminations (of the eligibility criteria other than disability) of SSI beneficiaries ...
Social Security Administration [SSA]. The annual discretionary funding caps would be adjusted by the amount by which funds appropriated for the SSA program integrity activities for a year exceed $273 million; the maximum such adjustment would rise from $623 million for fiscal year 2012 to $1.309 billion a year for fiscal years 2017 through 2021. If the Congress were to appropriate the maximum amounts eligible for the cap adjustment related to SSA funding, spending for such activities would be about $4 billion above CBO’s baseline. Based on the $4 billion increase, CBO estimates that benefit outlays for DI, SSI, Medicare, and Medicaid would fall by nearly $12 billion over the 2012-2021 period (see Table 2). Additional savings would accrue after 2021. ...


Anonymous said...

This goes to show how much of a fraud all the talk of cuts is. God only know how much more spending is buried in that bill.

Anonymous said...

Honorable John A. Boehner
Honorable Harry Reid

That's a joke. I guess honor among thieves. LOL

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

The previous commissioner, Joanne Barnhardt told Congress that SSA would no longer conduct SSI redeterminations of income and resources or Continuing Disability Reviews unless the agency was given enough funds to perform these workloads. There are many SSI recipients who haven't had their income or resources verified for 3, 4, 5, 8 years. There are SSI recipients who have quite a bit of unreported income and living arrangement and resource changes that may mean they are being paid incorrectly; both too much and too little (mostly too much).

At the end of the fiscal year, the SSI supervisors spend inordinate amounts of time counting how close we are to the redetermination clearance cap. The idea is to just meet the goal without going over. The instructions to clear or not clear redeterminations changes on a daily basis, sometimes twice a day. What a waste of supervisor time. But we are not allowed to clear too many while being pushed to clear as many as we can (without going over). Sheesh!

ALJ's make favorable decisions with the added remark that a CDR should be conducted within 12 months, as if they really believe that it will really happen. It doesn't. Once entitled, most claimant stay entitled even if they would no longer meet the criteria since reviews are not done.

There have been studies that show that if SSA spends operating money on SSI redeterminations and CDR's that program dollars are saved. Don't know the ratio.

Anonymous said...

SSA has testified that the return on investment for CDRs in the disability program is $10 to $1. For SSI CDRs its $8 to $1. This "spending increase" is there because it actually saves program money, which the CBO scored using those ratios.

The question will be whether SSA has sufficient staff to do this work or whether they can use this funding to hire as needed.