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SSA Misses Opportunity For CDR Savings Per OIG

2014 September 10
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by Steve Perrigo

Depending on its approach to conducting medical continuing disability reviews (CDRs), the SSA has the potential for significant financial savings or losses, according to a recent report from the SSA Office of the Inspector General (OIG). CDRs are used to determine whether disability beneficiaries continue to be disabled and should continue receiving benefits.

If the SSA were conducting CDRs at the same rate as its fiscal year (FY) 2002 level, the additional federal benefit savings would amount to $4.6 billion in FY 2014, according to the OIG’s estimate in it study, “The Social Security Administration’s Completion of Program Integrity Workloads.”

When the SSA has chosen how to allocate funding between program integrity and other workloads—program integrity work generally declined. Since FY 2009, the SSA has received dedicated funding, but full medical CDRs remain at historically lower levels compared to FY 2002-05.

The agency ended FY 2013 with a backlog of 1.3 million full medical CDRs. If SSA’s approach and funding continue like FY2013—the full medical CDR backlog would reach more than 5.7 million by FY 2023, the OIG estimates.

Members of Congress have queried the agency on its approach to CDRs with recent hearings about the Disability Insurance Trust Fund, especially as the trust fund exhaustion date of 2016 draws near.

The report includes the following data:

Year

Dedicated Program Integrity Funding (Millions)

Program Integrity Spending (Millions)

Mailer CDRs Completed

Full CDRs Completed

Total CDRs Completed

Backlog of Full Medical CDRs

2002

$630

$976

729,242

856,849

1,586,091

0

2003

0

$922

701,870

669,385

1,371,255

102,000

2004

0

$891

923,670

681,010

1,604,680

101,000

2005

0

$757

985,096

530,381

1,515,477

458,000

2006

0

$523

1,020,725

316,913

1,337,638

946,000

2007

0

$417

557,215

207,637

764,852

1,202,000

2008

0

$555

845,915

245,388

1,091,303

1,438,000

2009

$504

$715

785,023

316,960

1,101,983

1,496,000

2010

$758

$879

631,615

324,567

956,182

1,361,000

2011

$756

$909

1,063,405

345,492

1,408,897

1,330,000

2012

$756

$979

961,069

443,233

1,404,302

1,308,000

2013

$743

$1,098

1,146,947

428,568

1,575,515

1,330,000

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