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Forum Summary: Social Security Disability: Time for Reform
In March 2013, the Social Security Advisory Board held a public forum in Washington, D.C. entitled “Social Security Disability: Time for Reform”. The Forum featured presentations by eighteen disability policy experts organized around four themes: (1) the fiscal and structural balance of the SSDI program, (2) models for promoting labor force attachment, (3) interventions for better case outcomes, and (4) systemic policy reform proposals. Over 100 participants representing policy makers, federal government agencies, advocacy groups, and independent research organizations were in attendance. This document describes the proceedings of our the Forum. The main points of each presentation and the commentary provided by invited discussants are summarized. For those who would like to review the presentations in more detail, all materials from the Forum—including presentation slides--are available to the public on the Advisory Board’s website. http://www.ssab.gov/FORUM2013.aspx .
Position Paper: The Online Statement and MySSA Portal: SSA Should Take Additional Steps to More Effectively Communicate with the Public
Since its inception in 1988, the Social Security Statement has become the most direct and significant way of communicating with two important groups: the workers who pay taxes needed to finance the Social Security system and the individuals currently receiving benefits. The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) recent creation of the My Social Security online portal allows both workers and beneficiaries to create an online account and view their Statement at any time, among other things. While the Board supports SSA’s decision to provide such an important document in this web-based format, serious concerns remain. This paper aims to address those concerns and makes several recommendations that the Board believes, if implemented, would result in SSA communicating more effectively with the public.
Senate Aging Committee Launches New Anti-Fraud Hotline, Enhanced Website to Assist Seniors
WASHINGTON, DC – If you or someone you know suspect you’ve been victim of a scam or fraud aimed at seniors, the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging has set up a new toll-free hotline to help. The hotline was unveiled in November to make it easier for senior citizens to report suspected fraud and receive assistance. It will be staffed by a team of committee investigators weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. The investigators, who have experience with investment scams, identity theft, bogus sweepstakes and lottery schemes, Medicare and Social Security fraud, and a variety of other senior exploitation issues, will directly examine complaints and, if appropriate, refer them to the proper authorities. Anyone with information about suspected fraud can call the toll-free fraud hotline at 1-855-303-9470, or contact the committee through its website, located at the read more link or visit http://www.aging.senate.gov/fraud-hotline.
Annual Report 2012
PRESS RELEASE: Individuals Should Open a "My Social Security" Account to Protect Personal Information and Help Stop Identity Theft
PRESS RELEASE: Social Security Administration Changes Official Terminology from "Mental Retardation" to "Intellectual Disability"
PRESS RELEASE: Individuals in Same-Sex Marriages Should Not Wait to Submit Applications for Social Security Benefits If They Believe They Are Eligible
PRESS RELEASE: Social Security Advisory Board Calls for an Immediate Halt to Social Security Administration's Benefit Offset National Demonstration
Position Paper: The Case for Terminating the Benefit Offset National Demonstration, Prepublication Draft
The Benefit Offset National Demonstration, more often referred to as “BOND,” is a national demonstration project originally authorized under the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999. The purpose of BOND is to test whether the availability of a benefit offset alone, or in combination with benefits counseling, would incentivize Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries to earn above the substantial gainful activity (SGA) level and therefore return to the workforce. Our paper assesses SSA’s ability through the BOND project to address the following: 1) will a benefit offset incentivize more work for SSDI beneficiaries? And 2) what are the effects of induced entry onto the SSDI program, if any? Based on our analysis of BOND, the Board has concluded that it is an insufficient test of the potential of these work incentives among Social Security beneficiaries. While SSA has received criticism in the past for not completing research projects, we conclude that this particular demonstration is not worthy of continued investment, and therefore recommend that it be halted immediately.
Facing the Challenges -- Envisioning the Future: Transition Document for SSA
The Social Security Advisory Board believes that SSA has reached a point where continuing to do business using outdated processes and tools hinders the agency’s ability to meet the needs and expectations of the American public. With effective planning, however, SSA can set new standards for delivering the kind of service that the public expects. Further, as the agency faces constraints due to current budget and resource issues, planning takes on an even greater importance and urgency.
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The Social Security Advisory Board (SSAB)
is an independent, bipartisan board created by Congress and appointed by the President and the Congress to advise the President, the Congress, and the Commissioner of Social Security on matters related to the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income programs. As an advisory body, we have no authority to take any administrative actions and cannot resolve questions regarding individual claims.
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