Accuracy of Quarterly Wage Data and Their Impact on Social Security Benefits

Date: 
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Report Number: 
A-03-12-11213
Report Type: 
Audit Report
Office Affiliation: 

The National Directory of New Hires (NDNH) is a repository of wage and employment information that includes new hire (W-4), unemployment insurance, and quarterly wage information reported by State and Federal agencies. Our audit focused on the quarterly wage data included in the NDNH. SSA accesses the quarterly wage data to (1) establish or verify eligibility and/or payment amounts under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program; (2) establish or verify eligibility and/or continuing entitlement under the Disability Insurance program; and (3) administer the Ticket to Work (TTW) and Self-Sufficiency programs.

In addition, SSA verifies the names and Social Security numbers on all quarterly wage reports to ensure the data are accurate before OCSE transmits them to State and Federal agencies.

Our objective of this report was to assess the accuracy of the quarterly wage data collected by the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) and determine their effectiveness in helping identify overpayments in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) benefit programs.