Manual Actions to Issue Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Underpayments Less Than $6,000

Date: 
Friday, April 21, 2017
Report Number: 
A-07-17-50153
Report Type: 
Audit Report
Office Affiliation: 

We issued this report to determine whether the Social Security Administration (SSA) accurately issued manual Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI) underpayments less than $6,000.

An OASDI underpayment accrues when a beneficiary is due a partial or full monthly benefit amount that has not been paid. SSA’s automated systems should detect and process most underpayments due living beneficiaries. However, when SSA’s systems cannot process these underpayments, SSA employees must manually issue them. Further, SSA employees must manually process all underpayments due deceased beneficiaries.

Manually issued OASDI underpayments of $6,000 or more require a secondary review. However, SSA policy does not require a secondary review of manually issued underpayments less than $6,000.

From 1 segment of the Payment History Update System, we identified 104,255 OASDI underpayments less than $6,000 that were manually issued during Calendar Years (CY) 2014 and 2015. From these underpayments, we identified 52,115 underpayments greater than the $668 median and reviewed a random sample of 250 to determine whether they were accurately issued and supported.