Jul 27, 2012

Hearing On SSI Administration

     The Human Resources Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on July 25 on the use of technology to improve Supplemental Security Income (SSI) administration. I noticed nothing of much import in the written statements. There were two witnesses who clearly should not have been testifying, in my opinion, but I won't go into that. I think anyone who takes even a cursory look at this will quickly understand why I say this. 
     I found this bit from the written testimony of Patrick O'Carroll, Social Security's Inspector General, interesting since it's not something that would have occurred to me -- even though I have told clients in the past to apply for these types of benefits:
A recipient may not be eligible for SSI if SSA advises him or her of potential eligibility for other benefits—such as Title II benefits, veterans’ benefits, workers’ compensation, or unemployment insurance—and he or she does not take all steps to obtain such payments within 30 days.
Another type of benefit that falls into this category is a foreign-based pension. We currently have an audit in process that is examining the issue of SSI recipients who are eligible for or receiving a pension from Russia. Foreign entities that pay income to individuals living in the United States do not usually make this information available to the IRS; therefore, SSA cannot detect these pensions as it can with domestic entities. In Russia, pensions may be payable to individuals with as few as five years of work in
the country, even though the individuals reside in the United States.
Through data analysis, we identified a population of more than 25,000 SSI recipients nationwide who might be eligible for Russian pensions.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I suppose every dollar helps, but foreign pensions that SSI recipients receive are rarely over $100 after conversion to US. Skillful interviewing will uncover the possibility of a pension but we would need more specific information about where and when to refer. And then, time to follow up.