Report Summary
Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General

September 2009

Congressional Response Report:  Impact of the Social Security Administration’s Claims Process on Disability Beneficiaries


To determine whether the wait for benefits impacted the disability beneficiaries’ finances, access to medical care, and relationships.


The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income disability benefits to eligible individuals under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act

At a congressional hearing on September 16, 2008, the Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Social Security, questioned how SSA’s claims process impacts disabled beneficiaries.  Therefore, we initiated this review. 

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Our Findings

Most of the participants believed their wait for benefits impacted at least one aspect of their lives, such as their finances, access to medical care, or relationships.  Further, the more levels of adjudication these individuals went through, the more often they believed this. 

Of the 424 disability beneficiaries who participated in our review (out of 550),