Department of Health and Human Services

Restructure Social Security Adminstration.

The administration is using the same model that was started in the 1930's. It was set up with payment centers in each region of the United States. This was done because everything was done on paper at the local field offices and mailed to regional locations to process into pay status or adjustments to the benefits.

 

The current situation is that local offices still have to send some inputs to these central locations. The administration has not seen fit to allow the local offices to make these direct inputs to records.

 

SSA should restructure everything. Eliminate the payment centers. Send those employees out to local field offices. Give the local offices the ability to make these direct inputs.

 

The local offices spend a large amount of time double-checking the inputs that the Payment Centers make. The local offices also spend a large amount of time explaining to beneficiaries that we cannot correct your record. It is pending in the payment center. The local offices are continuously wasting time by calling, emailing and faxing requests to the payment centers.

 

The field employee's are making the determinations that adjustments are needed yet they cannot make the inputs to the records make the adjustments.

 

If the local office could make these inputs, it would eliminate the payment centers.

 

The payment centers are located in high rent areas and many of the employees are in higher locality pay areas. Money can be saved by moving these jobs out to the areas that actually serve the public.

 

I estimate that by decentralizing these operations and allowing the field employees to make the corrections that SSA could reduce about 30 percent of those positions over time due to attrition.

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Idea No. 260