GAO Releases Report on Modernization of SSA Disability ProgramsImage Banner

GAO Releases Report on Modernization of SSA Disability Programs

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GAO Releases Report on Modernization of SSA Disability Programs

July 25, 2012

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a report assessing the Social Security Administration's (SSA) efforts to update its medical criteria and develop a new occupational information system for the purpose of modernizing disability determination criteria.

SSA has a plan in place to develop a better system for determining the criteria that classifies an individual as disabled, but is hindered by relying on Department of Labor information which is also out of date. SSA maintains that "modern concepts of disability cannot be fully incorporated into SSA's disability decisions" because it lacks the resources to conduct individualized assessments. 

The report recommends that SSA identify the resources it needs in order to achieve its goals to update its medical listings within five years; that it follow best practices in its cost estimate, schedule and risk assessment for the occupational information system; and that it conduct limited, focused studies on how to more fully consider assistive devices and workplace accommodations in its disability determination.