The Social Security Administration’s Access to Financial Institutions Program (Limited Distribution)

Date: 
Friday, December 5, 2014
Report Number: 
A-01-13-13069
Report Type: 
Audit Report
Office Affiliation: 

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program provides cash assistance to people who are aged, blind, or disabled with limited income and resources. SSI applicants and recipients are required to report their resources to SSA to ensure they are eligible for SSI payments.

The access to financial insistutions (AFI) is an electronic process that assists SSA in verifying bank account balances for participating banks to determine SSI eligibility. AFI also helps SSA detect undisclosed accounts by searching for accounts at up to 10 banks based on the individual’s or representative payee’s address. SSA uses AFI when the (1) claimant or recipient grants SSA permission to request bank account information; (2) claimant or recipient alleges ownership of liquid resources valued at $400 or more and there is at least 1 month of SSI eligibility; and (3) type of SSI event is a full initial claim, pre-effectuation review contact (PERC), redetermination, or resource-related limited issue review.

We identified 3 populations as of October 2012: 134,042 initial claims, 44,422 PERCs, and 155,574 redeterminations. We obtained a sample of 50 cases where AFI was necessary from each population, for a total of 150 cases.