Social Security Administration

Inter-agency information sharing

While working on claims within the Social Security Administration, we very often have to verify a claimant's income from other sources. Many times, this income comes from another government entity such as the VA, EDD, OPM pension, HHSA, Dept of Child Support, etc. We spend time and resources requesting information on the benefits from the claimant, and if the claimant is unable to obtain the information we spend more time and resources sending requests for information to these agencies. Even worse, if the claimant fails to mention that they get other benefits, SSA does not find out until we get an alert months or years after we start paying them benefits, resulting in incorrect benefits paid to claimants. Most of the time, receiving a response on these requests takes 30 days or longer. If there were an inter-agency website for sharing benefit information from different components of the government, we could save time and money that is currently spent sending and responding to requests for information. For example, SSA currently has a system in which we can look up an SSI beneficiary's unemployment record, but there is no similar system for other government benefits. SSA also could use this system to improve on prevention of incorrect benefit payments that cost the government incredible amounts of money each year. Best of all, if SSA had instant access to benefit information from other government components, we could provide faster, better, and more accurate service to the public. This could work for other agencies that may need someone's SSA benefit information as well. We get a high volume of walk in traffic from people who need verification of benefits for their HUD housing, Medicaid benefits, food stamps, cash aid, etc. We should work to be more cohesive as a whole so government operations can run more smoothly.

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Idea No. 14123