Report Summary

Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income Claims Approved in 2006 But Not Paid

July 2010



To identify Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income claims that were medically allowed for disability benefits in Calendar Year 2006 but had not been paid.


During our review, Impact of the Social Security Administration’s Claims Process on Disability Beneficiaries (A‑01‑09‑29084), we found an individual who was medically allowed for a disability benefit in Calendar Year 2006 but was not paid as of July 2008.  In October 2008, we referred this case to SSA, whose staff concluded the claim should have been paid.  We initiated this review to determine the extent of this issue.

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Our Findings

Our review of allowance decisions issued in Calendar Year 2006 found 45 beneficiaries who were not paid as of 2010—4 years after the decisions to pay the claimants were made by SSA.  These 45 cases represent only 0.004 percent of the 1.3 million allowance decisions issued in 2006.  Additionally, while identifying our population for this review, we found 16 individuals who were receiving widows’ benefits; however, they should have started receiving benefits earlier than they did. 

We referred the 45 unpaid allowance cases and 16 widows’ cases to SSA, and the Agency initiated its review and corrective action as soon as we notified them of these cases.  The Agency calculated past due benefits of $814,862 for the 45 unpaid claimants and $122,154 for the 16 underpaid disabled widows.

Our Recommendations

We recommended that SSA complete its work on the 45 unpaid claimants and 16 widows we identified and ensure all past due benefits are paid to beneficiaries as appropriate.  

SSA agreed with our recommendation.