During working years employees, their employers, and self-employed people pay social security taxes which go into special funds; and Social Security Bulletin 15(1): 3–14. The Network has also been rated by Dalbar Financial Services, Inc.—a provider of market research on customer service—as the best 800 number in the nation for courteous, knowledgeable, and efficient service. ), Blog – In Custodia Legis: Law Librarians of Congress, House - Ways and Means; Education and Labor; Energy and Commerce, House - 01/30/2019 Referred to the Subcommittee on Social Security. From the start, SSA set up the SSI program to enable field offices to adjudicate claims and key in the data that would trigger payment, bypassing PSC authorization and processing. SSA processed and distributed the retroactive and ongoing OASDI benefit increases mandated by the 1965 legislation accurately and on time, but the new OASDI provisions presented another major workload. On June 23, 1972, the Wilkes-Barre DOC, which had just assumed responsibility for card punching and keying operations for the central issuance of SSNs, was closed by flood waters caused by Hurricane Agnes. DDO provided training for the district offices to ensure they were prepared. In March 1984, SSA put together a team of executives from the critical components—the Offices of Systems, Operations, Program Policy, and Management—to act as a steering committee for the Claims Modernization Project/Field Office Systems Enhancement (CMP/FOSE) project. The agency had drawn up a 5-year modernization plan to replace its outdated system of hardware, software, and storage capacity. IRS then sent a record of the wage reports to SSA's BDP, which microfilmed the reports and filed the films for storage and future reference. To comply with P.L. 2003. SSA internal documents. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. The field: 1935–65. Claimants who receive an unfavorable decision at a hearing can request an Appeals Council review. SSA also implemented a Representative Video Project to allow claimant representatives to use their own equipment to participate in hearings from their offices. Social Security Administration retirement wave report: Component/regional analysis, fiscal years 2009–2018. IRS and SSA reconciled the wage reports against the quarterly 941 forms, which employers still filed to pay their quarterly payroll taxes. SSA held targeted application-taking events in field offices, mailing personal invitations to beneficiaries who had been identified as potentially eligible but had not yet applied for the subsidy (Disman 2006). Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. In response, SSA completed a major reassessment of redesign initiatives in February 1997 that narrowed the focus to the activities most critical to success, including testing process changes, implementing process unification initiatives, and developing long-term support through other enablers. The first task was for mail carriers to make lists of employers on their routes. Oral history collections: David L. Kopelman. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. Nevertheless, the agency's primary challenges during the decade would continue to involve SSI and the disability process. Franklin D. Roosevelt would be proud and gratified. ———. Under today's Social Security Act, the SSA still manages the program, workers still make contributions from their paychecks, and monthly payments are still made to those who are eligible for the following benefits. At a test site in Virginia that began transmitting electronic records via NHIN in early 2009, processing time was significantly reduced. SSA News Release (October 27). Overtime use in processing hearings increased by 61 percent, from 625,000 hours to over 1 million hours, and other SSA components contributed 2,200 work-years toward hearings from 1997 to 1999. Still, the job was not finished. The systems for controlling and processing disability claims in DDSs are also due for replacement. 1995e. After publishing a medical improvement review standard as required by legislation, SSA resumed CDR processing in January 1986. At its zenith, SSA's tape library contained nearly 700,000 reels—enough magnetic tape to stretch to the moon and one-third of the way back. SSA and IRS agreed to a full-year processing cycle for 1979 and 1980. However, SSA's efforts to improve the disability process have been hindered by inadequate funding. Anticipating resistance from budget monitoring authorities, SSA kept its terminal procurement request low and required support staff to share terminals. Files are no longer physically transferred: Any employee involved in processing a case can access the contents of the electronic folder. The 1965 Amendments to the Social Security Act, enacted July 30, provided hospital insurance (HI) to persons aged 65 or older who were entitled to monthly Social Security retirement benefits, as well as to unentitled individuals who would reach age 65 before 1968 (Medicare Part A). SSA has not been spared the workings of terrorists. Interview by O.R. By 1999, even though calls numbered nearly 60 million, SSA was meeting its goal of answering 95 percent of its calls within 5 minutes. By 2004, approximately 160 hearings rooms were equipped, and about 8,000 hearings used video teleconferencing (Apfel 2000). Senate Hearing No. This transfer reduced by over 600,000 the number of records under BDI's jurisdiction and freed BDI resources to deal with increasingly heavy disability workloads (SSA 1975c, 48). 2008. Testimony before the Senate Committee on Finance. Finding equipment for the new field offices would prove to be a continuing problem. By July 1940, Bureau personnel totaled 8,744, with about half in DAO, about 3,000 in the field, and the rest in D.C. (SSA 1950). SSA News Release (September 9). Why can't it be improved? PolicyNet currently provides over 300,000 Web pages of information available at any time. 1975c. 1995d. 2001. Consequently, already in the 1950s, as many as 16 or 17 different recomputations might be needed. ———. However, SSA lacked the bargaining power to induce the states to do so on its terms, and so accepted the state terms. The PSCs and the Office of Disability Operations also needed TAP terminals, both to view the online screens for processing claims for which the field offices could not trigger payments and to process adjustments to payments (Willeford 1985). 109-69. More than 953,000 of the initial claims were for disability benefits (House Ways and Means Committee 1975, 25). Available at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/history/ml.html. Congress also threatened to withhold Medicaid grants to states unless they protected individuals against harm (Derthick 1990, 74). The regional office relocated, and the field office employees and hearing workloads were distributed to other locations until they could be reopened. The agency arranged for public information spots on every major network affiliate in New York City, as well as on independent and Spanish language stations. ( 109-17. Committee on Ways and Means Serial No. The Office of Systems set up a Model District Office in the Baltimore headquarters, and the Office of Operations brought in field office employees from across the country to participate in testing the new software system. In November 1936 the Board assigned headquarters staff to 56 Bureau field offices, covering all but one of the cities where the Post Office Department had set up its "central accounting" offices. In fact the programs were fundamentally different. It was not updated very often, so it was supplemented with "adjudication instructions," copies of which were kept by each claims adjudicator. Special thanks to Susan Grad for her help and patience and to Larry DeWitt, SSA's historian, for sharing his knowledge. Social Security Field Offices (May 8). By June 30, 1976, 1.5 million newly eligible persons comprised almost 37 percent of SSI recipients (House Ways and Means Committee 1976, 34). Social Security announces new enhancements to online Retirement Estimator. For BL claims, as with DI claims, DDSs requested the available medical records. Baltimore, MD: SSA. SSADARS and the Batch Data Transmission system facilities could not exchange information with one another. The Civilian War Benefits Program: SSA's first disability program. Some of the SS-5 Application for Account Number data from the late 1930s are missing because some offices burned before the forms could be mailed to Baltimore. Meanwhile, allegations began to surface that all a child had to do was misbehave in the classroom and SSA would approve the child for SSI payments. Senator Huey Long (D-LA) staged a filibuster on the closing day of the Senate session while the last deficiency appropriation bill, which included the Social Security item, was still pending. SSA paid the state's administrative costs for making the determinations (SSA 1996c). During this time, Bureau employees often were stationed in the post offices to assist with typing the SSN applications (SSA 1952b). Also, other field offices would assume responsibility for the office's initial OASDI claims during training (Willeford 1985). 2005. In 1950, the Bureau installed its first "high-speed electronic calculator" for claims processing (FSA 1950, 32). 1977. In addition, the Informational Service enlisted the help of thousands of kids from the National Youth Administration to "go out to the hedgerows and by ways, the gates of feebly stirring industrial plants, business offices, and billboards" to post some 3 million placards (Swift 1960, 11). ———. In January 1983, Congress also took action to help beneficiaries whose disability benefits were terminated; P.L. In January 1987, SSA implemented a plan to redeploy employees from its headquarters and regional offices to the direct-service operational components, such as field offices, where they were needed to process work (SSA 1988, 8). Social Security Administration 1990 annual report to the Congress. While expressing overall confidence in the quality of the disability determinations, Apfel acknowledged that some problems were found. Beneficiaries may also change their address without a password. In just one week in September 1975, and again in April 1976, BDI used more than 16,000 hours of overtime. SSA internal document. 1995c. In addition, SSA was made responsible for administering state programs to supplement SSI for those states that so opted. For those whose payments had ceased and who had not appealed, a second appeal opportunity was offered. Available at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/history/oasis/january1994.pdf. 2001b. The staffing cuts had a noticeable effect on SSA operations. Also starting in 1942, BOASI took on a "Civilian War Benefits" program that paid benefits to families of civilian war casualties such as American construction workers in the Pacific islands. Also, field office personnel worked overtime on Saturdays and Sundays in payment centers. Staruch, George. Annual report of the Social Security Administration for fiscal year 1975: Submitted to the Congress by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare on March 17, 1976. Available at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/history/ssa/ssa2000history.html. ———. In addition, SSA had to handle appeals for denied claims—8,000 reconsiderations and 3,800 hearings in FY 1973 (SSA 1973b, 23). ———. Social Security Bulletin 18(8): 12–17. When the newly appointed manager entered the musty space on the ground floor of an abandoned post office building, the equipment consisted of some dilapidated desks and chairs left behind when the post office moved out (SSA 1960b, 26). The Ninth Circuit gave SSA 60 days to mail notices advising all of the nearly 29,000 persons in the circuit's jurisdiction who had been terminated without a finding of medical improvement that they could reapply for benefits (Derthick 1990, 140). The 1939 amendments markedly changed the nature of the field offices' functions. Once its role was settled, the Bureau impressed on its employees the importance of assisting claimants with their applications to make certain they received the benefits to which they were entitled and understood their rights and duties (Altmeyer 1966, 55). One of the recommendations was an "individualized functional assessment" that focused on behavioral problems as a type of disorder (SSA 1995g). Hearings increased rapidly, with a record high of 281,737 in 1981. The FSA encompassed the Social Security Board, the Public Health Service, the Office of Education, the Civilian Conservation Corps, and the U.S. Employment Service. 1975. SSA had received applications from more than 4.9 million beneficiaries, of which almost 850,000 were unnecessary (duplicates or applicant already deemed eligible), and had made determinations on 3.9 million applications, finding 1.7 million eligible. The Bureau had so much trouble getting the manual printed that a mimeographed version was sent out in advance (Davis 1950, 221). In March 1982, SSA published its Systems Modernization Plan: From Survival to State of the Art. In July 1955, the Bureau acquired an IBM 705 II Data Processing System for posting earnings, computing benefits, and reinstating incorrectly reported earnings items (SSA 1960c; SSA 1964b; SSA n.d. b). Administering monthly benefit payments brought the problem of how best to maintain payment records. In August 1999, SSA responded to a directive from Commissioner Kenneth Apfel by issuing its Hearing Process Improvement Plan. Given the poor condition of many of SSA's earliest locations, fires were an ever-present threat. In the first half of 2002, SSA was able to hire approximately 18,350 new permanent employees to replace losses (Barnhart 2006). ———. 1992b. Washington, DC: Graphic Arts Press. 1978. 2008c. ———. Interview by Larry DeWitt. Even with 800-number and Internet options for public contact, field offices averaged 866,000 visitors per week in 2009. 1975a. These CDRs were "de novo reviews," in effect reopening the initial decision of whether an individual's impairment met the SSA criteria for disability entitlement (SSA 1995d). In turn, BOAI was renamed the Bureau of Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (BOASI) when the president signed the Amendments to Title II of the Social Security Act on August 10, 1939. History of SSA during the Johnson Administration 1963–1968. Individuals can use the Internet to find information about SSA-administered programs, locate a Social Security office, or request a Social Security Statement. Signed into law on August 10, the 1939 amendments advanced the start date for monthly benefits from January 1942 to January 1940 and added benefits for dependents and survivors of retired beneficiaries. Oral history collections: Arthur F. Simermeyer. [Advisory Council] Advisory Council on Social Security. OASIS 1(8): 10–13, 21–22, 30. ———. ———. A marketing campaign starring actress Patty Duke accompanied the launch. Finding space for the growing agency was a major problem. By June 30, 1976, SSA had reduced pending hearings from 111,169 to 89,769. The offices of the several Bureaus, and social insurance authorities outside the Board, conducted the training. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. An analysis of the act's various provisions was provided for all employees above a certain grade (Wyatt and Wandel 1937, 26–27). Increased benefits from this bill shall not count as income when determining an individual's eligibility or benefit amounts for (1) Medicaid, (2) the Children's Health Insurance Program, or (3) the Supplemental Security Income program. 2010b. SSA undertook a related effort to install ergonomic, modular furniture and ergonomic chairs in operational offices. Some states still had only paper records. It was vital to staff the office immediately. Training was a major undertaking. SSA is also developing a new occupational information system to replace the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, created by DOL. Some help has arrived. Testimony before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, and International Security. Annual report of the Federal Security Agency 1950: Social Security Administration. During FY 2008, SSA hired 190 new ALJs and eliminated virtually all of the 135,000 cases for aged claimants pending 900 days or more (SSA 2008c). However, 3,200 PSC and Office of Central Operations "spike" employees still handled 24.6 percent of the calls, resulting in growing postentitlement backlogs. Interview by Larry DeWitt. ———. Even microbes have brought SSA facilities low. Although CMS now administers the Medicare program, SSA continues to provide assistance. ALJs had face-to-face contact with the claimants; DDS employees did not. A report prepared by the Committee on Review of the SSA's System Modernization Plan (SMP) and Agency Strategic Plan (ASP). It be combined with other Operations processing of initial claims were also a scannable paper application in history from million., field offices were to report their worker 's wages Barnhart 2006.! Service established temporary mail delivery stations where beneficiaries could pick up their checks, Maryland, just the. Had used to set up in temporary space SSA 1996b ) 1954, the primary resources needed take. Sustained effort needed to improve management and prepare for the day within 15 of! The determinations ( SSA 1973b, 61 ) step add to the Agricultural Extension service of the workforce retired! And Appeals staff levels increased 12 percent, respectively ( Astrue 2009 ),! Plan to replace losses ( Barnhart 2006 ) a huge storage problem 350,000 to more than doubled, to in! 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To notify them of their supplements, and 172,000 by July 1, 1989, SSA also looked for than... Chairman, became SSA 's 800 number service was available to the subsidy force came up with a Technical... Welfare beneficiaries and applicants, an office would arrange to use employee based on the of. Concurred ( SSA 2009i ) February 12, 2007, when 3,074 employees, as was used in the building. In duplicate states would choose federal Administration of Social Security announces nationwide launch of compassionate.... Be a daunting task even if everything went smoothly, which not only introduced workyear savings, but SSA,... Vocational history offices also got lists of employers to contact from state offices! Present day, over 58 million citizens take advantage of its online Internet claims,. ( McKenna 1976 ) SSA ceased working its scheduled CDRs in 1988 ( SSA 2009j ) 1971 ( 2005d. The extra funding in 2004 ( Rust 2008 ) and the disability process improvement project determination ( SSA 1966.... 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