Bank Balances and Account Information for Supplemental Security Income Recipients

Date: 
Friday, January 6, 2017
Report Number: 
A-01-15-35040
Report Type: 
Audit Report
Office Affiliation: 

The objective of our report was to determine whether the Social Security Administration (SSA) missed opportunities to identify Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients who had excess resources in bank accounts.

The SSI program provides cash assistance to people who are aged, blind, or disabled with limited income and resources. In July 2016, SSA paid 8.3 million recipients $4.7 billion in monthly SSI payments.

SSI applicants and recipients are required to report their resources to SSA to ensure they are eligible for SSI. Since January 1, 1989, the SSI resource limits have been $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple.

We identified 717 adult SSI recipients (from 1 segment of the Supplemental Security Record) who answered that they had no bank account but who were receiving payments via direct deposit at 1 of the top 4 banks where SSI was direct deposited and who had a redetermination from January 2011 through March 2016. We selected a random sample of 100 recipients for detailed analysis and requested their bank records.

Generally, when an SSI recipient’s payments are direct deposited to a financial institution, the account title must indicate the recipient owns the account.