oversight

2019 Fall Semiannual Report to Congress

Published by the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General on 2019-11-27.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

Semiannual Report
      to Congress
            April 1, 2019

      September 30, 2019
                               OIG                           BY THE
                                                             NUMBERS
                                 April 1, 2019 - September 30, 2019



 2,426                                                              2,792
 cases opened                                                      cases closed


$146+ Million
investigative monetary accomplishments
(includes SSA recoveries, restitution, fines, settlements,
judgments, and estimated savings)
                                                               44
                                                                audit reports issued

    $1.5+
    Billion                           441                                $581+
    funds put to                     indictments                         Million
                                                                        questioned costs
    better use                     or informations


         406,744                                          allegations
                                                          received

             39
 civil monetary penalty actions against those who
                                                                  $3+ Million
                                                                  civil monetary penalties
 made false statements, representations, or omissions
 to obtain, retain, or convert Social Security benefits           and assessments
CONTENTS




   4    A MESSAGE FROM THE INSPECTOR GENERAL



   5    SSA MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES



   7    HIGH-IMPACT INITIATIVES


   8    AUDIT


   9    INVESTIGATIONS


   15   LEGAL



   16   APPENDICES
A MESSAGE FROM THE INSPECTOR GENERAL



I am pleased to present this Semiannual Report to Congress for the period April 1, 2019 through
September 30, 2019. These 6 months have been a time of learning and analyzing—not only for me, but
also for our entire organization. I have challenged our investigators, auditors, attorneys, and support
staff to bring ideas to my attention that will improve our work, processes, and employee engagement,
which are all critical for offices of inspector general (OIG) to be effective.

The OIG has also been challenged during this reporting period by a widespread fraud scheme misusing
Social Security’s trusted name. Last spring, we saw a significant spike in the number of allegations
related to Social Security-related phone scams, in which callers threaten arrest or use other scare
tactics to mislead victims into paying non-existent fines or debts with cash, retail gift cards, pre-paid
debit cards, or wire transfers. This phenomenon, which continues to affect numerous Government
agencies, shows no sign of stopping. We have seen and received many reports of public citizens losing
significant sums of money to these scammers.

Therefore, during this reporting period, I have directed significant resources toward combating these scams with a collaborative
approach involving our investigations, legal, communications, and information technology (IT) personnel, as well as other Government
agencies and private entities. We have joint investigations ongoing with other Federal law enforcement agencies; we are in discussions
with major retailers to display point-of-sale scam warnings; and we continue to work with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to
reach out to the public to deliver a clear and consistent message: SSA will never demand payment with cash or retail gift cards, so
hang up and ignore these fraudulent calls.

Our approach to this challenge has been one of interdisciplinary and interagency collaboration and cooperation, and I will emphasize
this approach to address a range of issues going forward. We oversee an agency with the largest outlay of Federal funds, serving some
of the most vulnerable people in our country. That responsibility requires an openness to new ideas and change, as well as a willingness
to share expertise and resources across agencies for a common good.

I will also work to ensure that our resources support audits and investigations that will have the greatest potential impact on the
integrity and effectiveness of SSA’s programs and operations. We will gather and assess data and information, and draw conclusions
and make decisions from that information. From third-party facilitator fraud to SSA’s systems security, and everything in between, the
OIG will continue to provide thorough oversight, but will strive to do so in more innovative and cost-effective ways. We are committed to
making the best use of our human and financial resources to benefit Social Security and the American people.




                                                                                           Gail S. Ennis
                                                                                        Inspector General




   Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019                                                                                      4
    SSA MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES
    The OIG annually identifies the most significant management and performance challenges facing SSA based on legislative mandates and
    our audit and investigative work. Listed below is a summary of each challenge.


                       IMPROVE ADMINISTRATION OF THE DISABILITY PROGRAM
                       The Agency continues to face challenges with pending initial disability claims and pending hearings, as well as
                       hearings processing times. While pending levels and hearings timeliness have improved in recent years, SSA has not
                       achieved its average hearings processing time goal of 270 days. Average processing time for hearings increased 65
                       percent from 360 days in Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 to 595 days in FY 2018, but it improved to 506 days in FY 2019. Also,
                       few Ticket-eligible beneficiaries used their Tickets for vocational or employment services. To improve administration
                       of the disability program, we believe SSA needs to 1) implement and monitor its Compassionate and REsponsive
                       Service initiative, designed to improve timeliness and reduce the hearings backlog; 2) focus resources on capacity
                       issues to better balance processing times and hearing office workloads. In addition, SSA should continue to create new
                       opportunities for returning beneficiaries to work and ensure measurement of costs, savings, and effectiveness are part
                       of the design of such initiatives. In FY 2019, we completed nine audits in this area and, as of October 2019, we have six
                       reviews ongoing.

                       MINIMIZE PAYMENT ERRORS AND IMPROVE MANAGEMENT OF PAYMENT WORKLOADS1
                       SSA issues monthly payments to over 70 million people and must be a responsible steward of the funds entrusted to its
                       care by minimizing the risk of making improper payments, and effectively managing payment workloads. In FY 2018,
                       SSA estimated computation errors resulted in $942 million in over- and underpayments, and verification deficiencies
                       resulted in nearly $1 billion in overpayments. Improper payments can also result from inadequate management and
                       processing of payment workloads. SSA has taken steps to minimize payment errors and improve management of
                       payment workloads, but we believe the Agency needs to 1) do more to address the root causes of improper payments;
                       2) enhance accountability through program and automation improvements; 3) ensure staff have adequate training
                       and technology; and 4) periodically review manual processes to determine whether they can be automated to reduce
                       computation errors. In FY 2019, we completed 11 audits in this area and, as of October 2019, we have 19 reviews
                       ongoing.

                       IMPROVE THE PREVENTION, DETECTION, AND RECOVERY OF IMPROPER PAYMENTS1
                       SSA is responsible for issuing over $1 trillion in benefit payments, annually. Given the amounts involved, even the
                       slightest error in the overall payment process can result in millions of dollars in over- or underpayments. Preventing,
                       detecting, and recovering improper payments continues to be a challenge. In its FY 2019 Agency Financial Report, SSA
                       estimated it had made approximately $8.2 billion in improper payments in FY 2018. The Agency continues collaborating
                       with external partners to address the root causes of improper payments to prevent their recurrence, and modernize its
                       debt management and collection processes. We believe SSA needs to 1) prevent improper payments through automation
                       and data analytics, identifying changes that affect benefit payments; 2) expand efforts to collect data from reliable
                       third-party sources that would aid SSA in mitigating discrepancies that can occur when beneficiaries and recipients self-
                       report information; and 3) develop new initiatives to address improper payments. In FY 2019, we completed 15 audits in
                       this area and, as of October 2019, we have 8 reviews ongoing.

                       IMPROVE SERVICE DELIVERY2
                       SSA faces several challenges as it pursues its mission to deliver quality service to the public. SSA estimates, in FY
                       2020, it will pay over $1 trillion in Old-Age, Survivors and Disbility Insurance (OASDI) benefits to 65 million beneficiaries
                       and nearly $60 billion in Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments to 8 million recipients. The Agency expects to
                       process, among other workloads, 8.7 million initial OASDI and SSI claims, and 100 million post-entitlement actions. SSA
                       faces growing workloads, but expects that more than 10,000 of its almost 61,000 employees will retire within the next
                       5 years. SSA continues expanding its suite of automated and on-line service options, but we continue to have concerns




                       1. For FY 2020, we split the prior management challenge, Reduce Improper Payments and Increase Overpayment Recoveries, into two challenges:
                       Minimize Payment Errors and Improve Management of Payment Workloads and Improve the Prevention, Detection, and Recovery of Improper
                       Payments.
                       2. We renamed the challenge Improve Customer Service to Improve Service Delivery to shift focus toward how SSA delivers services and will be
                       able to deliver services in the future.


5                                                                                            Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019
               about identity authentication for on-line transactions. Finally, the Agency must focus on strengthening its representative
               payment program, to ensure the protection of its most vulnerable customers. The Agency must continue to implement
               the provisions of the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018. In FY 2019, we completed
               nine audits in this area and, as of October 2019, we have three reviews ongoing.

               SECURE INFORMATION SYSTEMS AND PROTECT SENSITIVE DATA3
               Information breaches at several Federal agencies have underscored the importance of securing Federal systems and
               protecting sensitive information. SSA houses sensitive information about every individual who has been issued a Social
               Security number (SSN). It is imperative that SSA have a robust information security program, yet auditors have identified
               weaknesses that, when aggregated, created a significant deficiency in SSA’s overall information systems security
               program. In the most recent report for SSA’s compliance with the Federal Information Security Modernization Act of
               2014, Grant Thornton LLP identified a number of deficiencies that may limit SSA’s ability to protect the confidentiality,
               integrity, and availability of SSA’s information systems and data. To address this significant challenge, SSA must 1)
               address the deficiencies identified by the independent auditor; 2) ensure its electronic services are secure and comply
               with Federal security requirements; 3) continue to be vigilant in protecting SSN and ensure any electronic applications
               related to SSN card issuance include effective authentication; and 4) improve wage reporting by informing employers
               about potential SSN misuse cases, identifying and resolving employer reporting problems, re-examining the validity and
               integrity checks used to prevent suspicious W-2s from being posted, and encouraging greater use of SSA’s employee
               verification programs. In FY 2019, we completed three audits in this area and, as of October 2019, we have seven
               reviews ongoing.

               MODERNIZE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
               SSA must modernize its IT infrastructure to accomplish its mission despite budget and resource constraints. SSA’s aging
               infrastructure is increasingly difficult and expensive to maintain; the Agency continues relying on outdated applications
               and technologies to process its core workloads. In addition, the Agency requires modern software engineering tools
               and skills that could make its operations more efficient. SSA reports that budget constraints have forced it to use much
               of its IT funding to operate and maintain existing systems. Still, to ensure the Agency can keep pace with increasing
               workloads, it must maintain its legacy systems while developing their modern replacements. For several years, SSA
               has worked incrementally to modernize its IT infrastructure. The Agency's Chief Information Officer has acknowledged
               the Agency must undertake a larger, multi-year effort. However, SSA faces challenges in executing and implementing
               major IT projects and delivering expected functions on-schedule and within budget. For example, SSA estimated its
               costs for its Disability Case Processing System through FY 2022 would be approximately $191 million, and the Agency
               still needs to develop functionality and implement the system in 21 disability determination services (DDS). To address
               its modernization challenges, SSA needs to 1) prioritize modernization activities to ensure available resources lead to
               improvements with the greatest impact on SSA’s operations and the service it provides the public; and 2) ensure its IT
               planning and investment control processes are effective. Since FY 2018, we completed three audits in this area and, as
               of October 2019, we have two reviews ongoing.




               3. For FY 2020, we eliminated the management challenge Strengthen the Integrity and Protection of the Social Security Number, incorporating all
               related audit work into the challenge Secure Information Systems and Protect Sensitive Data.



Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019                                                                                                              6
         HIGH-IMPACT INITIATIVES
SOCIAL SECURITY-RELATED SCAM OUTREACH AND INVESTIGATIVE EFFORTS
During this reporting period—and since Fall 2018—we have seen a dramatic increase in allegations related to Social Security phone scams. These
scams use Social Security’s good name to scare victims into providing bank account numbers or money via gift cards, pre-paid debit cards, wire
transfers, or cash. Although the scams generally do not involve Social Security benefits, the scams have the potential to negatively impact the
public’s trust in Social Security, and they hinder the Agency’s ability to communicate with its customers. As a result, we have directed significant
resources to a multi-disciplinary effort to 1) increase public awareness and 2) combat the scams through investigations and liaison with public and
private entities.

•	       To increase public awareness, we conducted an outreach campaign to major retail, gift card, and internet search companies to inform them
         about the dramatic increase in scams and the potential for fraud losses for their customers. We are asking for their cooperation in warning their
         customers about these scams. During this reporting period, Wal-Mart began showing an SSA scam warning sign on large-screen televisions in
         almost half of their U.S. stores, in rotation with other anti-fraud messages and videos.

•	       To combat the scams, we have initiated a number of criminal investigations, and are working with the Department of Justice (DOJ) as well as
         other Federal law enforcement agencies. These investigations are ongoing, and we continue to analyze allegations and pursue investigative
         leads. We are also working with public and private entities to reduce scammers’ ability to “spoof” legitimate Government phone numbers.



COOPERATIVE DISABILITY INVESTIGATIONS EXPANSION
The Cooperative Disability Investigations (CDI) Program continues to be one of our most successful anti-fraud initiatives, contributing to
the integrity of the Agency's disability programs. CDI, established in 1997, combines resources and expertise from SSA, OIG, state disability
determination agencies, and State or local law enforcement, to investigate and deter Social Security disability fraud.

During this reporting period, we and SSA opened three CDI Units, in Bismarck, North Dakota; Boise, Idaho; and Helena, Montana. In addition, the
Puerto Rico CDI Unit began receiving fraud referrals from the U.S. Virgin Islands.

For the reporting period, CDI investigations provided evidence that led to
•	 1,388 disability claims being denied or ceased;
•	 $78,267,788 in projected savings for SSA programs; and
•	 $89,648,159 in projected savings for non-SSA programs.

CDI now has 46 units covering 40 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. It also covers the U.S. territories of Guam,
American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. SSA and OIG will continue to work with its State and local partners to
expand CDI coverage for all 50 states by 2022, as required by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.



LAW ENFORCEMENT TASK FORCE PARTICIPATION
The SSA OIG recognizes the critical need to have productive partnerships with other Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies, to share
information; cooperate on issues of overlapping jurisdiction or mutual concern; and combine expertise and resources to pursue fraud wherever we
find it. To this end, we are active participants on law enforcement task forces across the country, including Federal Bureau of Investigations’ joint
terrorism task forces, Homeland Security Investigations’ document and benefit fraud task forces, DOJ’s elder justice task forces, and U.S. Marshals
Service’s fugitive task forces. These national, regional, and local task forces facilitate information sharing and combine resources of Federal, State,
and local agencies to combat fraud and protect our communities.

We further contribute to the safety of our local communities through our Fugitive Felon Program, working with SSA to help Federal, state, and local
law enforcement agencies locate individuals with outstanding warrants. During the reporting period, we referred 71,695 cases to law enforcement
agencies to assist in their efforts to locate these individuals. We also may participate in apprehensions resulting from our Fugitive Felon Program
referrals. For example, in July 2019, our Ashland, Virginia office, working with the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Taskforce, arrested Montrell
Whitaker, a former SSI recipient wanted by the State of North Carolina for murder and kidnapping.




     7                                                                                   Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019
  AUDIT – Highlights
                       FOLLOW-UP: INDIVIDUALS WHO INAPPROPRIATELY RECEIVED BENEFITS UNDER MULTIPLE
                       SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS
                       OBJECTIVE: Update prior, and identify new, cases of individuals who inappropriately received Social Security benefits
                       under multiple SSNs. RESULTS: SSA’s systems identify duplicate OASDI or duplicate SSI records by matching names
                       and dates of birth. SSA improperly paid approximately $46.9 million—$29.2 million identified in this audit and $17.7
                       million identified in our prior audits—to 724 beneficiaries who had multiple SSNs and for other reason(s). SSA did not
                       detect the majority of the cases we identified because they involved both OASDI benefits and SSI payments or had
                       different names. We recommended, and SSA agreed, to develop a data match to identify and prevent beneficiaries from
                       inappropriately receiving both OASDI and SSI benefits under different SSNs.

                       THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION’S USE OF AVERAGING WHEN IT DETERMINED
       44              SUBSTANTIAL GAINFUL ACTIVITY FOR DISABLED BENEFICIARIES
  Reports Issued       OBJECTIVE: Determine whether SSA policy for averaging earnings ensured staff made accurate and consistent
                       substantial gainful activity determinations. RESULTS: Based on our sample results, we estimated SSA applied
                       averaging provisions inconsistently or incorrectly to more than 30,000 beneficiaries, leading to questionable benefit
                       payments totaling almost $419 million. SSA agreed with our recommendation to establish objective criteria for staff to
                       follow when averaging earnings to minimize inequity and unfairness in its determinations.

                       WINDFALL ELIMINATION PROVISION EXEMPTIONS
                       OBJECTIVE: Determine whether SSA correctly exempted OASDI benefits using three specific exemptions under the
                       Windfall Elimination Provision. RESULTS: Based on our sample results, we estimate SSA improperly paid approximately
                       3,600 beneficiaries $118 million. Because of its administrative finality rules, SSA may not correct all the payment errors
                       we identified. We previously recommended SSA take action regarding administrative finality, and SSA reported it was
                       finalizing changes to the administrative finality policies and procedures. However, as of April 2019, the Agency had not
                       changed its policies and procedures. If it does not take corrective action, we estimate the Agency will improperly pay
                       an additional $140 million in future payments to these beneficiaries. We recommended SSA review cases we identified
                       in our audit, instruct staff to review policies and procedures, and finalize changes to its administrative finality policy.
                       SSA agreed to implement the recommendations.
$581,061,147
Questioned Costs       THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION’S PROCESSING OF RETURNED OLD-AGE, SURVIVORS
                       AND DISABILITY INSURANCE PAYMENTS
                       OBJECTIVE: Determine whether SSA processed returned OASDI benefits according to policy. RESULTS: Based on
                       our sample results, we project there were 19,700 beneficiaries with returned OASDI benefits in Calendar Years 2015
                       through 2017 that SSA did not process according to policy, which resulted in approximately $54.8 million in improper
                       payments. These improper payments occurred because SSA made errors when it (1) determined the total amount
                       of benefits due after payments were returned or (2) failed to verify and/or update beneficiary information so it could
                       determine whether to reissue any portion of the returned benefits. We recommended, and SSA agreed to, establish a
                       process to review all returned OASDI payments greater than $90,000, improve its controls over processing returned
                       OASDI payments, and issue a reminder to employees on how to determine the appropriate action for returned OASDI
                       payments.

                       OVERPAYMENTS PENDING COLLECTION FOR MISCELLANEOUS REASONS
                       OBJECTIVE: Determine whether SSA should have resolved OASDI overpayments that were pending collection for
                       miscellaneous reasons. RESULTS: Based on our sample results, we estimate there are approximately 2,600 debtors
                       with overpayments totaling approximately $35.4 million on the Master Beneficiary Record that SSA has not resolved
$1,589,293,063         or initiated/resumed collection for longer than 1 year. We made four recommendations to SSA, including to identify
                       and resolve all debtors with a miscellaneous due process status for longer than 1 year; establish timeliness standards
  Funds Put to         for resolving overpayments in a due process status; and regularly monitor the debt management database, and build
   Better Use          controls into the modernized debt system, to ensure employees take appropriate action for overpayments in a due
                       process status. SSA agreed with three of our four recommendations; it did not agree to establish timeliness standards.




     Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019                                                                                      8
    INVESTIGATIONS - Highlights

                                     Total Allegations Received- 406,744

         By Category
                Social Security-related Scam1 - 316,675

                Old-Age, Survivors and Disbility Insurance - 22,549

                Disability Insurance - 25,015

                SSI Disability and SSI Aged - 15,873

                Social Security Number Misuse - 11,763

                Other2 - 13,137

                Threats/Employee Safety and Employee-Related - 1,732



         By Source
                Private Citizens - 317,352

                SSA and DDS Employees - 62,339

                Anonymous - 17,016

                Beneficiaries - 7,101

                Law Enforcement - 1,854

                Public Agencies and Other Sources3 - 1,082




         By Method
                Hotline4 - 342,514

                Non-Hotline5 - 64,230




1. Social Security-related scams refer to those who misuse Social Security's name to commit fraud.
2. Most of these allegations were determined to be unrelated to fraud, waste, or abuse in SSA programs or operations.
3. This includes, but is not limited to, Congress, Financial Institutions, Contractors/Grantees, Employee of Contractor, and Employee of Subject
4. Hotline allegations include those submitted through mail, phone, fax, and our website; as well as any other allegations processed by 1) the National Center for Disaster Fraud
pursuant to the SSA OIG cooperative agreement or 2) SSA OIG’s Allegation Management and Fugitive Enforcement Division.
5. Non-hotline allegations include those submitted through the SSA electronic programmatic fraud referral form and those entered directly into SSA OIG’s National Investigative Case
Management System by the Office of Investigations, received from sources including, but not limited to, Congressional representatives and staff and other Federal, State, or local
agencies.


9                                                                                                    Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019
                                                      Investigative Achievements




       2,177                                           773                                              94                                           441
Investigative Reports                       Persons Referred                           Persons Referred to State                          Indictments and
       Issued1                              to Department of                            and Local Prosecuting                          Criminal Informations4
                                           Justice for Criminal                         Authorities for Criminal
                                              Prosecution2                                   Prosecution3



                                       Investigative Monetary Accomplishments


                                                                                                                                     $100,557,172
                                                                                                       $20,998,138

                                                                        $22,761,317
                                         $2,093,889
         $302,641

       Settlements/                                                                                      Restitution                     Estimated
                                              Fines                      Recoveries
        Judgments                                                                                                                         Savings



                                                         TOTAL - $146,713,157

    1. Total number of summary reports of investigative findings issued externally by the Office of Investigations, including prosecution referrals, reports of employee
    investigation, reports of special investigation, and reports of findings by a CDI unit.
    2. Total number of individual subjects or entities referred to the DOJ where the investigative findings were not subject to pre-established prosecution declination guidelines.
    3. Total number of individual subjects or entities referred to State and local prosecuting authorities where the investigative findings were not subject to pre-established
    prosecution declination guidelines. These persons may also have been referred to DOJ.
    4. Total number of initial indictment or criminal information filings per subject. Subsequent or superseding indictments or criminal informations related to the same subject
    are not included.




  Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019                                                                                                                        10
                                                       Total Cases Opened - 2,426



      by Program Category
             Disability Insurance - 940

             Supplemental Security Income - 930

             Old-Age, Survivors and Disbility Insurance - 322

             Social Security Number Misuse - 169

             Other1 - 37

             Employee Safety - 18

             Employee Fraud - 10




                                                       Total Cases Closed - 2,792

      by Program Category
             Disability Insurance - 1,147

             Supplemental Security Income - 1,111

             Old-Age, Survivors and Disbility Insurance - 348

             Social Security Number Misuse - 91

             Other1 - 68

             Employee Safety - 19

             Employee Fraud - 8




1. Category includes investigations representing less than 1% of total; for example, false personation and other
issues unrelated to SSA’s programs or operations.




11                                                                                                     Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019
INVESTIGATIONS – Highlights

                      DISABILITY INSURANCE FRAUD
                      PSYCHIATRIST STEALS OVER $1 MILLION
                      Acting on information received from the Florida Department of Insurance Fraud, our Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
 940                  office, along with the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, investigated a 58-year-old
Cases                 Disability Insurance (DI) beneficiary, who was also receiving private insurance disability benefits. The
Opened                investigation revealed that, from approximately January 2006 through March 2013, the man concealed his
                      work activity as a psychiatrist. The investigation further revealed that the man took steps to conceal his
                      earnings, including creating fictitious corporations and filing fraudulent income tax returns. The man pleaded
                      guilty to mail fraud, theft of Government funds, Social Security fraud, and income tax evasion. In April 2019,
                      he was sentenced to 51 months in prison and 3 years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay over
                      $1 million in restitution, including $451,026 to SSA.

                      NEW JERSEY MAN STEALS DISABILITY BENEFITS
                      Acting on a referral from the Newark, New Jersey SSA office, our Iselin, New Jersey office investigated a
1,147                 63-year-old DI beneficiary. The investigation revealed that the man fraudulently obtained multiple SSNs
Cases                 and, from approximately 2002 to 2012, used them to conceal his work activity and income from SSA while
                      collecting DI. The man pleaded guilty to Social Security fraud and theft of Government funds. In September
Closed                2019, he was sentenced to 3 years of probation with a special condition of 8 months of home confinement.
                      He was also ordered to repay $221,364 to SSA.




                      SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME FRAUD
                      EMPLOYEE OF ORGANIZATIONAL PAYEE STEALS SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME PAYMENTS
                      Acting on information provided by the Tuscaloosa, Alabama SSA office, our Birmingham, Alabama office
 930                  investigated a 42-year-old employee of an organization that served as representative payee for multiple SSI
Cases                 recipients. The investigation determined the woman took and converted to her own use the SSI payments
Opened                received by the organizational representative payee on behalf the organization’s clients. The investigation also
                      found that the woman transferred money between clients’ accounts in an attempt to conceal the theft. The
                      woman pleaded guilty to wire fraud and, in August 2019, she was sentenced to 12 months and 1 day in prison
                      and 3 years of supervised release. She was also ordered to repay $105,166 to SSA.

                      TRAVEL AGENT DEFRAUDS CUSTOMERS AND SSA
                      Based on a referral received from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Florida, our Jacksonville,
                      Florida office, along with the U.S. Secret Service, investigated a 59-year-old SSI recipient. The investigation
1,111                 determined that, from approximately June 2005 to February 2009, the woman concealed from SSA her
Cases                 work activity as a travel agent. In addition, the woman made fraudulent charges on credit cards belonging
Closed                to customers of the travel agency. The woman became a fugitive when a warrant was issued for her arrest
                      in 2009; she was located and arrested in October 2018. The woman subsequently pleaded guilty to access
                      device fraud and theft of Government funds. In June 2019, she was sentenced to 113 months and 17 days in
                      prison and 3 years of supervised release. She was also ordered to repay $53,108 to SSA, $36,392 to a cruise
                      line, and a total of $4,169 to three private citizens.




 Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019                                                                                     12
     INVESTIGATIONS – Highlights

               OLD-AGE AND SURVIVORS INSURANCE FRAUD
               WOMAN STEALS DECEASED GREAT-GRANDMOTHER’S RETIREMENT BENEFITS
               Acting on a referral from the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) OIG, our Los Angles, California office, along
       322     with the RRB OIG, investigated the 47-year-old great-granddaughter of a woman who was receiving both
               Social Security and RRB retirement benefits. The investigation revealed that, after her great-grandmother’s
      Cases
               death in January 2000, the great-granddaughter continued to receive and use the Social Security and RRB
      Opened   benefits disbursed for her great-grandmother. The woman pleaded guilty to Social Security fraud and, in April
               2019, she was sentenced to 12 months and 1 day in prison and 2 years of supervised release. She was also
               ordered to repay $99,086 to SSA and $92,749 to RRB.

               MAN STEALS OVER $400,000 FROM SSA
               Based on information provided by the Mountain View, California SSA office, our San Francisco, California
               office investigated the 66-year-old son of a Social Security retirement beneficiary. The investigation
       348     determined that following his mother’s death in December 1987, the son continued to receive and use the
      Cases    Social Security benefits intended for his mother. The son pleaded guilty to Social Security fraud and, in July
               2019, he was sentenced to 18 months in prison and 3 years of supervised release. He was also ordered to
      Closed
               repay $407,007 to SSA.




               SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER MISUSE
               WOMAN USES THE IDENTITIES OF OTHERS TO STEAL FOOD STAMP BENEFITS
               Acting on information from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, our Kansas City, Missouri office, along with the
       169     Missouri Department of Social Services, investigated a 36-year-old Missouri woman. The investigation
      Cases    determined that the woman used the personally identifiable information of other people to fraudulently obtain
      Opened   Federally funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. The woman pleaded guilty to mail
               fraud, Social Security fraud, and aggravated identity theft. In June 2019, she was sentenced to 74 months in
               prison and 3 years of supervised release. She was also ordered to pay $51,685 to the Missouri Department of
               Social Services.

               DOMINICAN NATIONAL USES STOLEN IDENTITY TO STEAL BENEFITS AND OBTAIN A U.S. PASSPORT
               Acting on a request for assistance from the U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service, our Santa
               Ana, California office, along with the Diplomatic Security Service, investigated a 43-year-old national of the
       91      Dominican Republic. The investigation determined that the man used the personally identifiable information
      Cases    of a U.S. citizen to fraudulently obtain DI benefits and a U.S. passport. The man pleaded guilty to aggravated
      Closed   identity theft and, in June 2019, he was sentenced to 24 months in prison and 1 year of supervised release.
               He was also ordered to repay $73,234 to SSA.




13                                                                 Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019
INVESTIGATIONS – Highlights

                      EMPLOYEE SAFETY
                      MAN THREATENS TO KILL DISABILITY DETERMINATION SERVICES EMPLOYEE
                      Based on information provided by the Knoxville, Tennessee, SSA office, our Nashville, Tennessee office,
     18               together with the Federal Protective Service (FPS), investigated a 53-year-old applicant for DI benefits.The
  Cases               investigation found that the man threatened to kill a DDS employee after learning that his DI application would
  Opened              be denied. The man pleaded guilty to intimidating an employee or contractor of SSA acting in an official
                      capacity. In September 2019, he was sentenced to 3 years of probation.

                      MAN THREATENS TO SHOOT DDS EMPLOYEES
                      Acting on information provided from the DDS Kalamazoo, Michigan office, our Grand Rapids, Michigan office,
                      along with the FPS, investigated a 55-year-old applicant for DI benefits. The investigation determined that the
                      man threatened to obtain a firearm and shoot everyone at the Kalamazoo, Michigan office if his application
                      for DI benefits was denied. The man pleaded guilty to sending threatening interstate communications and, in
     19               August 2019, he was sentenced to 12 months and 1 day in prison and 2 years of supervised release.
  Cases
  Closed




                      EMPLOYEE FRAUD
                      SSA EMPLOYEE MISUSES GOVERNMENT CREDIT CARDS
                      Based on information provided by the SSA hearing office in Memphis, Tennessee, our Memphis office
     10               investigated an SSA hearing office system administrator. The investigation revealed that the employee
  Cases               misused General Services Administration (GSA) Fleet Services credit cards to purchase fuel for her personal
  Opened              vehicle. The woman pleaded guilty to theft of Government funds. In April 2019, she was sentenced to time
                      served of 1 day incarceration and 2 years of supervised release with a special condition of 4 months of home
                      confinement. She was also ordered to repay $7,224 to GSA.

                      SSA EMPLOYEE STEALS DISABILITY BENEFITS
                      Acting on information provided by the SSA Wilkes-Barre Direct Operations Center, our Greensboro, North
                      Carolina office investigated an SSA customer service representative. The investigation found that the man
                      made false and misleading entries into SSA records resulting in the issuance of a retroactive DI benefit
     8                payment to be made on behalf of a beneficiary. The man caused the payment to be deposited into a bank
  Cases               account controlled by an associate of his who subsequently stole the funds. The man pleaded guilty to theft
  Closed              of Government funds and, in August 2019, he was sentenced to 8 months in prison and 1 year of supervised
                      release. He was also ordered to repay $29,760 to SSA.




 Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019                                                                                    14
   LEGAL — Highlights
                       OIG attorneys perform a wide range of legal work that supports the OIG’s oversight efforts. For example, they provide
                       independent legal advice and counsel to the Inspector General (IG) on issues involving statutes, regulations, legislation,
                       and policy directives, and the legal implications of audit and investigative activities. They also administer the SSA’s Civil
                       Monetary Penalty (CMP) Program and coordinate our whistleblower protection coordinator efforts, as described below.


        39             CIVIL MONETARY PENALTY PROGRAM
   Section 1129
  Cases Resolved       SSA’s CMP program, delegated to the OIG, allows the IG to impose CMPs for certain violations of the Social Security
                       Act. The CMP program permits the OIG to maximize our enforcement impact by creating an effective alternative when
                       criminal or civil prosecution is not appropriate or feasible.

                       Section 1129 of the Social Security Act, as amended, authorizes a CMP against anyone who:
                       •	 makes false statements to SSA, or knowingly withholds material facts from SSA, to obtain or retain benefits or
                           payments under Titles II, VIII, or XVI of the Social Security Act; or
                       •	 wrongfully converts a beneficiary’s payments while acting as a representative payee.

                       We are authorized to impose penalties of up to $8,457 for each false statement, representation, omission, or
                       conversion. Violators may also be subject to an assessment, in lieu of damages, of up to twice the amount of any
  $3,105,366           resulting overpayment or conversion.
   Section 1129
                       During this reporting period, we resolved 39 Section 1129 CMP cases, imposing more than $3.1 million in penalties
   Penalties and       and assessments. In one case, the subject wrongfully received $52,433 in SSI payments by concealing the ownership,
   Assessments         related management and work activities of a lawn care business. We obtained a default judgment imposing a $55,000
     Imposed           penalty and an assessment equal to the SSI overpayment, for a total CMP of $107,433.

                       Section 1140 of the Social Security Act prohibits people and companies from misleading consumers by giving a false
                       impression of an official association with, or endorsement by the SSA, when communicating with the public. The focus
                       of our Section 1140 consumer protection program is prevention and early intervention. We help to minimize harm to
                       the public and SSA’s reputation by alerting entities of Section 1140’s prohibitions, and giving them a chance to comply.
                       During the reporting period, we contacted the owners of 99 SSA-related domain names to educate them about the
                       prohibitions and penalties for violating Section 1140, and where they can find additional information.

                       We are authorized to impose CMPs of up to $10,519 for each misleading communication. During this reporting period,
                       two related background screening companies, Trak-1 Technology, Inc. and PeopleFacts, LLC, agreed to pay jointly a
         8             $103,950 penalty to resolve the government’s claim that they misled consumers by including an image of the SSA's
                       official seal in customer reports. Both companies cooperated with OIG, voluntarily discontinuing their use of the
   Section 1140        SSA's seal when notified of the government’s inquiry. Under the settlement agreement, the companies did not admit to
  Cases Resolved       violating the law, but did agree to pay the penalty.


                       WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION COORDINATION
                       The Chief Counsel to the IG serves as the Whistleblower Protection Coordinator for SSA, pursuant to the Whistleblower
                       Protection Coordination Act. OIG attorneys assist in this role by maintaining the whistleblower section of our website
                       and educating employees on 1) their rights and responsibilities and 2) procedural frameworks for reporting misconduct
                       and protecting employees against retaliation. During this reporting period, we published a whistleblower edition
                       of an internal newsletter and designed a new poster emphasizing the importance of whistleblowers to ensuring
                       SSA’s organizational integrity. The poster is on the OIG’s website and available to SSA’s components. To enhance
                       whistleblower protection, the OIG updated its Special Agent Handbook to establish new procedural policies that
        99             underscore the Inspector General’s commitment to protecting whistleblowers from retaliation. Also, the Office of
   Section 1140        Special Counsel (OSC) presented at an OIG manager's conference about OSC’s evolving role in monitoring compliance
                       and effectiveness of agency-specific whistleblower program implementation. OSC’s presentation included extensive
  Prevention/Early
                       discussion of recent legislation and other emerging issues related to prohibited personnel practices.
Intervention Efforts



 15                                                                             Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019
APPENDICES
     REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
     This report meets the requirements of the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, and includes information
     mandated by Congress.


                 Section                                              Requirement                                         Page(s)
                                                                                                                          Appendix J
              Section 4(a)(2)             Review of legislation and regulations
                                                                                                                            p. 41

              Section 5(a)(1)             Significant problems, abuses, and deficiencies                                   p. 8, p. 9

                                          Recommendations concerning significant problems, abuses, and
              Section 5(a)(2)                                                                                                p. 8
                                          deficiencies

                                          Recommendations described in previous Semiannual Reports on which             Appendix D & E
              Section 5(a)(3)
                                          corrective actions are incomplete                                              p. 27, p. 31

                                          Matters referred to prosecutive authorities and the prosecutions and
              Section 5(a)(4)                                                                                                p. 9
                                          convictions that have resulted

                                                                                                                         Appendix C
      Section 5(a)(5) & Section 6(b)(2)   Summary of instances where information was refused
                                                                                                                           p. 26

                                                                                                                         Appendix B
              Section 5(a)(6)             List of audits
                                                                                                                           p. 21

              Section 5(a)(7)             Summary of significant reports                                                     p. 8

                                          Table showing the total number of audit reports and total dollar value of     Appendix A & B
              Section 5(a)(8)
                                          questioned costs                                                                p. 19, p. 21

                                          Table showing the total number of audit reports and total dollar value of     Appendix A & B
              Section 5(a)(9)
                                          funds put to better use                                                         p. 19, p. 21

                                          Audit recommendations more than 6 months old for which no                       Appendix F
              Section 5(a)(10)
                                          management decision has been made                                                 p. 33

                                          Table showing each audit report, inspection report, and evaluation report       Appendix F
              Section 5(a)(10)
                                          issued before the reporting period with unimplemented recommendations             p. 33

                                          Significant management decisions that were revised during the reporting        Appendix C
              Section 5(a)(11)
                                          period                                                                           p. 26

                                          Significant management decisions with which the Inspector General              Appendix C
              Section 5(a)(12)
                                          disagrees                                                                        p. 26

                                          Information described under section 804(b) of the                              Appendix H
              Section 5(a)(13)
                                          Federal Financial Management Improvement Act of 1996                             p. 39

                                          The results of any peer review conducted by another Office of Inspector         Appendix I
              Section 5(a)(14)
                                          General during the reporting period                                               p. 40




17                                                                                Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019
        Section                                               Requirement                                        Page(s)
                                 List of any outstanding recommendations from any peer review
                                 conducted by another Office of Inspector General that have not been             Appendix I
     Section 5(a)(15)
                                 fully implemented, including a statement describing the status of the             p. 40
                                 implementation and why implementation is not complete
                                 List of any peer reviews conducted by the Inspector General of another
                                 Office of the Inspector General during the reporting period, including a list
                                                                                                                 Appendix I
     Section 5(a)(16)            of any outstanding recommendations made from any previous peer review
                                                                                                                   p. 40
                                 (including any peer review conducted before the reporting period) that
                                 remain outstanding or have not been fully implemented

 Section 5(a)(17) and (18)       Table showing total number of investigative reports issued                        p. 10

                                 Detailed report on each investigation involving a senior Government             Appendix K
     Section 5(a)(19)
                                 employee where allegations of misconduct were substantiated                       p. 42

                                                                                                                 Appendix M
     Section 5(a)(20)            Detailed description of any instances of whistleblower retaliation
                                                                                                                    p. 44

                                 Description of any attempt by the establishment to interfere with the           Appendix L
     Section 5(a)(21)
                                 independence of the OIG                                                           p. 43

                                 Description of any audits or investigations that were not disclosed to the      Appendix G
     Section 5(a)(22)
                                 public                                                                            p. 38




Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019                                                                           18
     APPENDIX A: RESOLVING AUDIT RECOMMENDATIONS
     Questioned costs include Social Security Administration (SSA) expenditures that we determined, based on our audits: violated a provision
     of a law, regulation, contract, grant, cooperative agreement, or other agreement or document governing the expenditure of funds; were
     not supported by adequate documentation; or were unnecessary or unreasonable. Disallowed costs are those questioned costs that SSA
     management has sustained or agreed should not be charged to the Government.

     Section 5(a)(8) of the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, requires that we provide statistical tables showing the total number of
     audit reports, inspection reports, and evaluation reports and the total dollar value of questioned costs (including a separate category for
     the dollar value of unsupported costs), for reports—

     (A) for which no management decision had been made by the commencement of the reporting period;
     (B) which were issued during the reporting period;
     (C) for which a management decision was made during the reporting period, including—
        (i) the dollar value of disallowed costs; and
        (ii) the dollar value of costs not disallowed; and
     (D) for which no management decision has been made by the end of the reporting period.


                                        Reports with Questioned Costs for the Reporting Period
                                                 April 1, 2019 - September 30, 2019

                                                         Number                                Dollar Value                                    Dollar Value
                                                                                                Supported                                      Unsupported
      A. For which no management
      decision had been made by the
                                                               27                               $2,348,927,722                                      $886,837
      commencement of the reporting
      period.
      B. Which were issued during the
                                                               18                                $554,339,868                                     $26,721,279
      reporting period.¹


      Subtotal (A + B)                                         45                               $2,903,267,590                                    $27,608,116

      Less:

      C. For which a management
      decision was made during the
      reporting period.
         i. Dollar value of disallowed
                                                               12                                $562,267,427                                     $26,721,279
         costs.²

         ii. Dollar value of costs not
                                                               5                                  $15,616,887                                           $0
         disallowed.²

         Subtotal (i + ii)                                     17                                $577,884,314                                     $26,721,279

      D. For which no management
      decision had been made by the end                        37                               $2,325,383,276                                      $886,837
      of the reporting period.²




     1. See Reports with Questioned Costs in Appendix B of this report.
     2. Some reports have multiple monetary recommendations and are accounted for as follows. Three reports have one recommendation split between sections Ci and Cii.
     One report has one recommendation split between sections Ci and Cii and the other is recorded in section D. Two reports have one recommendation recorded in section
     Ci and the other is recorded in section D. One report has one recommendation recorded in section Ci and the other two are recorded in section D. One report has three
     recommendations recorded in section Ci and the other one is recorded in section D.


19                                                                                                    Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019
When SSA avoids costs by implementing our recommendations, those funds may be put to better use. Section 5(a)(9) of the Inspector
General Act of 1978, as amended, requires that we provide statistical tables showing the total number of audit reports, inspection reports,
and evaluation reports, and the dollar value of recommendations that funds be put to better use by management, for reports—

(A) for which no management decision had been made by the commencement of the reporting period;
(B) which were issued during the reporting period;
(C) for which a management decision was made during the reporting period, including—
   (i) the dollar value of recommendations that were agreed to by management; and
   (ii) the dollar value of recommendations that were not agreed to by management; and
(D) for which no management decision has been made by the end of the reporting period.


                                                   Reports with Funds Put to Better Use
                                                    April 1, 2019 - September 30, 2019

                                                                               Number of Reports                                   Dollar Value
 A. For which no management decision had been made by
                                                                                             15                                     $5,275,827,482
 the commencement of the reporting period.

 B. Which were issued during the reporting period.1                                          12                                     $1,589,293,063


 Subtotal (A + B)                                                                            27                                     $6,865,120,545

 Less:

 C. For which a management decision was made during
 the reporting period.

    i. Dollar value of costs agreed to by management.2                                        6                                     $1,129,420,828


    ii. Dollar value of costs not agreed to by management.2                                   1                                      $125,662,404


    Subtotal (i + ii)                                                                         7                                     $1,255,083,232

 D. For which no management decision had been made by
                                                                                             22                                     $5,610,037,313
 the end of the reporting period.2

1. See Reports with Funds Put to Better Use in Appendix B of this report.
2. Some reports have multiple monetary recommendations and are accounted for as follows. One report has one recommendation recorded in section Ci and the other is
recorded in section D. One report has three recommendations recorded in section Ci and the other is recorded in section D.




     Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019                                                                                                             20
     APPENDIX B: REPORTS ISSUED

                                               Reports with Non-Monetary Findings
                                                  April 1 - September 30, 2019
                                Report Title                                  Report Number                   Issue Date
      The Social Security Administration's Use of Insight Software to
                                                                                A-12-18-50353                   4/19/2019
      Identify Potential Anomalies in Hearing Decisions

      Single Audit of the State of Ohio for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30,
                                                                                A-77-19-00001                   4/22/2019
      2018

      Single Audit of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for the Fiscal
                                                                                A-77-19-00002                   4/29/2019
      Year Ended June 30, 2018

      Single Audit of the State of Texas for the Fiscal Year Ended August
                                                                                A-77-19-00003                    5/2/2019
      31, 2018

      Single Audit of the State of Louisiana for the Fiscal Year Ended June
                                                                                A-77-19-00004                    5/3/2019
      30, 2018

      Single Audit of the State of Wisconsin for the Fiscal Year Ended June
                                                                                A-77-19-00006                   5/16/2019
      30, 2018
      The Social Security Administration's Compliance with the Improper
      Payments Elimination and Recovery Improvement Act of 2012 in the          A-15-18-50678                   5/20/2019
      Fiscal Year 2018 Agency Financial Report
      Single Audit of the State of Minnesota for the Fiscal Year Ended June
                                                                                A-77-19-00007                   5/20/2019
      30, 2018

      Single Audit of the State of New Jersey for the Fiscal Year Ended
                                                                                A-77-19-00008                    6/4/2019
      June 30, 2018

      Medical Improvement Review Standard Exceptions Other Than Failure
                                                                                A-01-18-50347                    6/6/2019
      to Cooperate

      External Peer Review of the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of
                                                                                A-09-18-50745                   6/10/2019
      Inspector General Audit Organization

      Supplemental Security Income Redeterminations Closed by Field
                                                                                A-06-18-50392                   6/19/2019
      Office Management

      Volume Representative Payee for the Social Security Administration
                                                                                A-15-18-50443                   6/24/2019
      in Connecticut


      U.S. Veteran Disability Claims Processing Time                            A-15-17-50227                   7/12/2019


      Individuals With Earnings Before Receiving Work-authorized Social
                                                                                A-03-16-50132                   7/19/2019
      Security Numbers

      Single Audit of the State of Michigan for the Fiscal Year Ended
                                                                                A-77-19-00009                   7/25/2019
      September 30, 2018




21                                                                            Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019
                                          Reports with Non-Monetary Findings
                                             April 1 - September 30, 2019
                           Report Title                                    Report Number     Issue Date
Single Audit of the State of California for the Fiscal Year Ended June
                                                                             A-77-19-00010    8/2/2019
30, 2018


Security of the Social Security Administration’s Cloud Environment           A-14-18-50498    8/29/2019


Administrative Law Judges' Appeals Council Remand Decisions                  A-12-18-50290    9/12/2019


The Social Security Administration’s Controls for Identifying
                                                                             A-09-18-50655    9/13/2019
Potentially Fraudulent Internet Claims

Unauthorized my Social Security Direct Deposit Changes Through
                                                                             A-01-18-50669    9/25/2019
May 2018

Single Audit of the State of Illinois for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30,
                                                                             A-77-19-00011    9/25/2019
2018




 Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019                                                      22
                                                    Reports with Questioned Costs
                                                  April 1, 2018 - September 30, 2019
                         Report Title                             Report Number                Issue Date              Dollar Value

     Follow-up: Individuals Who Inappropriately Received
                                                                    A-01-16-50075                4/25/2019                     $25,011,965
     Benefits Under Multiple Social Security Numbers

     Recovery of Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance
     Overpayments When a Contingently Liable Beneficiary            A-04-18-50651                5/15/2019                     $17,770,777
     Stops Receiving Benefits

     Single Audit of the State of Tennessee for the Fiscal Year
                                                                    A-77-19-00005                5/16/2019                          $5,480
     Ended June 30, 2018

     Supplemental Security Income Recipients with Double-
     counted Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance            A-05-18-50532                5/20/2019                     $26,721,279
     Benefits

     Follow-up: Underpayments on Prior Supplemental
                                                                    A-07-18-50676                6/6/2019                     $127,646,300
     Security Income Records

     The Social Security Administration's Use of Averaging
     When It Determined Substantial Gainful Activity for            A-07-18-50394                6/26/2019                        $382,297
     Disabled Beneficiaries

     Administrative Costs Claimed by the District of Columbia
                                                                    A-15-18-50628                8/5/2019                       $1,683,754
     Disability Determination Division


     Windfall Elimination Provision Exemptions                      A-13-17-34132                8/8/2019                     $118,136,291


     Match of Florida Death Information Against Social
                                                                    A-08-18-50565                8/13/2019                     $36,119,961
     Security Administration Records

     Match of Puerto Rico Death Information Against Social
                                                                    A-08-14-14013                8/26/2019                     $11,633,648
     Security Administration Records

     Match of New Mexico Death Information Against Social
                                                                    A-06-18-50759                9/5/2019                       $3,766,439
     Security Administration Records

     Benefit Payments to Non-citizen Beneficiaries Living
     Outside the United States Who Have Not Met the 5-year          A-07-18-50344                9/9/2019                      $28,745,020
     Residency Requirement
     The Social Security Administration’s Processing of
     Returned Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance           A-07-18-50570                9/12/2019                     $54,752,920
     Payments

     Dedicated Account Underpayments Payable to Children
                                                                    A-04-18-50607                9/17/2019                     $65,527,495
     Receiving Supplemental Security Income

     Overpayments Pending Collection for Miscellaneous
                                                                    A-04-18-50546                9/24/2019                     $35,446,020
     Reasons

     The Social Security Administration’s Accounting for, and
                                                                    A-04-18-50633                9/24/2019                        $827,401
     Monitoring of, Court-ordered Restitutions



23                                                                                  Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019
                                              Reports with Questioned Costs
                                            April 1, 2018 - September 30, 2019
                    Report Title                            Report Number     Issue Date   Dollar Value
Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Beneficiaries
with Overpayments on Suspended and Terminated                 A-07-18-50317    9/25/2019         $25,318,560
Records

Match of Maine and Rhode Island Death Data Against
                                                              A-01-18-50314    9/26/2019          $1,565,540
Social Security Administration Records


Total                                                                                      $581,061,147




   Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019                                                    24
                                                 Reports with Funds Put to Better Use
                                                  April 1, 2018 - September 30, 2019

                         Report Title                           Report Number            Issue Date              Dollar Value
     Supplemental Security Income Recipients with Dou-
     ble-counted Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance      A-05-18-50532            5/20/2019                       $1,287,184
     Benefits
     Follow-up: Minor Children Receiving Social Security
                                                                  A-13-17-50169             6/6/2019                      $34,714,105
     Benefits Without A Representative Payee
     The Social Security Administration's Use of Averaging
     When It Determined Substantial Gainful Activity for          A-07-18-50394            6/26/2019                     $418,758,446
     Disabled Beneficiaries

     Follow-up on Deceased Representative Payees                  A-01-18-50350            7/10/2019                      $10,650,935

     Follow-up: Aged Beneficiaries Whose Benefits Have
     Been Suspended for Address, Whereabouts Unknown, or          A-09-16-50077             8/6/2019                     $497,883,609
     Foreign Enforcement

     Windfall Elimination Provision Exemptions                    A-13-17-34132             8/8/2019                     $140,471,624

     Match of Florida Death Information Against Social Secu-
                                                                  A-08-18-50565            8/13/2019                       $6,295,201
     rity Administration Records

     Match of Puerto Rico Death Information Against Social
                                                                  A-08-14-14013            8/26/2019                       $1,352,292
     Security Administration Records

     Match of New Mexico Death Information Against Social
                                                                  A-06-18-50759             9/5/2019                        $796,734
     Security Administration Records

     Supplemental Security Income Underpayments Due
                                                                  A-06-18-50608            9/10/2019                     $467,994,323
     Deceased Recipients

     The Social Security Administration’s Accounting for, and
                                                                  A-04-18-50633            9/24/2019                       $8,714,310
     Monitoring of, Court-ordered Restitutions

     Match of Maine and Rhode Island Death Data Against
                                                                  A-01-18-50314            9/26/2019                        $374,300
     Social Security Administration Records

     Total                                                                                                     $1,589,293,063




25                                                                           Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019
APPENDIX C: SIGNIFICANT MANAGEMENT DECISIONS WITH WHICH THE
INSPECTOR GENERAL DISAGREES
Nothing to report.




SIGNIFICANT MANAGEMENT DECISIONS THAT WERE REVISED DURING THE
REPORTING PERIOD
Nothing to report.




SUMMARY OF INSTANCES WHERE INFORMATION WAS REFUSED
Nothing to report.




    Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019         26
 APPENDIX D: SIGNIFICANT MONETARY RECOMMENDATIONS FROM
 PRIOR FISCAL YEARS FOR WHICH CORRECTIVE ACTIONS HAVE NOT BEEN
 COMPLETED


                                                                    Total Unimplemented Significant

                                                 30                 Monetary Recommendations

                                                                    $7,167,757,627
                                                                    FY 2014 - FY 2018



     --
      Report Title,                                                   Unimplemented Recommendation
      Report Number, Issue Date,
      Dollar Value
                                                                    FY 2018
      Accuracy of The Determination of Workers’ Compensation          Recommendation 2: Determine whether the Social Security
      Offset During Disability Insurance Claims Processing            Adminstration (SSA) should review additional cases in the population
      A-02-14-34090, 9/25/18                                          of Disability Insurance (DI) beneficiaries who filed or intended to file
      $33,820,756 Questioned Costs                                    for Workers’ Compensation/Public Disability Benefit offset.
      Interim Benefits Paid After a Disability Claim is Denied        Recommendation 1: Review and take appropriate actions to correct
      A-02-18-50543, 9/13/18                                          the cases we determined were not accurately processed.
      $2,142,834 Questioned Costs

      Representative Payee Criminal Bar Policy                        Recommendation 1: SSA should determine if it should review
      A-13-18-50154, 8/31/18                                          the 4,856 payees we identified in its efforts to comply with the
      $13,730,931 Funds Put To Better Use                             Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018.
      Accuracy of Supplemental Security Income Payments to            Recommendation 1: Take appropriate action to address the 46
      Recipients with Manually Deemed Income                          recipients we identified with payment errors.
      A-07-18-50295, 8/30/18
      $136,569 Questioned Costs
      Processing Times for Continuing Disability Review Pre-          Recommendation 2: Continue monitoring processing times at the pre-
      Hearing Case Reviews at the Reconsideration Level of Appeal     hearing case review step at the reconsideration level, and determine
      A-07-18-50391, 8/29/18                                          whether a formal goal for continuing disability reviews appeals is
      $1,012,618 Questioned Costs                                     warranted if timeliness does not improve.
      $6,780,418 Funds Put To Better Use
      Supplemental Security Income Recipients Who Have Not Had        Recommendation 1: Incorporate the findings of this audit, as well as
      a Redetermination in Longer Than 10 Years                       the planned Office of Quality Review study, to enhance the business
      A-01-17-50219, 8/24/18                                          process used to select Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cases for
      $351,743,880 Questioned Costs                                   a redetermination.




27                                                                              Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019
Follow-Up: Dually Entitled Beneficiaries Who Are Subject to    Recommendation 3: SSA should decide whether to revise its rules
the Windfall Elimination Provision and Government Pension      on administrative finality to allow for the correction of Windfall
Offset                                                         Elimination Provision and Government Pension Offset overpayments
A-09-17-50252, 8/1/18                                          for the populations of dually entitled beneficiaries identified by our
$280,911,512 Questioned Costs                                  audits.
$46,380,172 Funds Put To Better Use
The Social Security Administration’s Use of Administrative     Recommendation 1: SSA should establish controls in the new Debt
Tolerance Waivers                                              Management Product, as part of its Debt Management modernization
A-04-16-50145, 8/1/18                                          initiative, that ensure technicians can only use the administrative
$12,568,202 Questioned Costs                                   tolerance waiver for overpayments allowable under the provision.
Accuracy of Month of Entitlement Determinations for            Recommendation 1: Evaluate, as part of information technology
Supplemental Security Income Recipients Awarded Old-Age,       modernization efforts, the feasibility of new systems controls to
Survivors and Disability Insurance Benefits                    help ensure that SSA establishes the earliest Old-Age, Survivors and
A-08-18-50582, 7/27/18                                         Disability Insurance Month of Entitlement for SSI recipients.
$135,712,356 Questioned Costs
$463,395,260 Funds Put To Better Use
Beneficiaries in Suspended Payment Status Pending The          Recommendation 1: Improve controls to ensure SSA does not
Selection of a Representative Payee                            improperly withhold payments to beneficiaries age 15 or older pending
A-09-17-50202, 6/1/18                                          the selection of a representative payee.
$11,202,747 Funds Put To Better Use
Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Debtors Who        Recommendation 1: Review the 12,269 delinquent debtor records and
Were Not Current on an Installment Agreement                   take action, where appropriate, to begin benefit adjustment or recovery
A-04-18-50265, 5/25/18                                         using its external collection tools.
$88,295,888 Questioned Costs
Follow-Up: Payments to Individuals Whose Numident Record       Recommendation 1: Verify the current vital status of beneficiaries
Contained a Death Entry                                        identified during the audit and take appropriate action to terminate
A-06-17-50232, 5/24/18                                         benefit payments or remove erroneous death entries. If applicable,
$19,825,018 Questioned Costs                                   SSA should also recover improper payments and refer potential
$6,314,200 Funds Put To Better Use                             instances of fraud to our Office of Investigtions.
Manual Adjustments to Old-Age, Survivors and Disability        Recommendation 2: Determine the cost-effectiveness of reviewing
Insurance Overpayments                                         additional manually adjusted overpayments that may need correction,
A-07-18-50294, 4/9/18                                          focusing on overpayments adjusted by greater than $20,000 to target
$72,729,487 Questioned Costs                                   larger dollar errors.
$275,994,019 Funds Put To Better Use
Higher Benefits for Dually Entitled                            Recommendation 1: Take action, as appropriate, for the 41
Widow(er)s Had They Delayed Applying for Retirement            beneficiaries identified by our audit.
Benefits
A-09-18-50559, 2/14/18                                         Recommendation 2: Evaluate the results for the 41 beneficiaries in
$131,817,936 Questioned Costs                                  our sample and determine whether SSA should review the remaining
$9,847,464 Funds Put To Better Use                             population of 13,514 beneficiaries.

Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Benefits to        Recommendation 2: Take action, if appropriate, on the remaining
Individuals Removed from the United States                     1,746 beneficiaries we identified who were still receiving benefits.
A-13-17-34105, 12/29/17
$2,803,833 Questioned Costs
The Cost-Effectiveness of Vocational Rehabilitation Services   Recommendation 1: Determine whether the Agency should revise how
A-02-17-14048,10/20/17                                         it determines whether vocational rehabilitation services led to Social
$94,883,352 Questioned Costs                                   Security DI trust and/or the SSI general revenue fund savings before
                                                               reimbursing vocational rehablitation costs.




   Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019                                                                                  28
                                                                       FY 2017
     Widow(er)s Eligible for an Earlier Initial Month of Entitlement     Recommendation 2: Determine the feasibility of reviewing the
     A-09-17-50187, 8/7/17                                               remaining population of widow(er)s who may be eligible for additional
     $285,191,557 Questioned Costs                                       months of benefits before their application filing date and could have
                                                                         chosen an earlier initial month of entitlement.
     Beneficiaries Who Worked After Their Disability Onset Dates         Recommendation 2: Determine, based on the results of review of the
     and Before Favorable Hearing Decisions                              26 cases, whether additional cases in the remaining population of
     A-02-16-20132, 7/18/17                                              35,595 beneficiaries who also had above substantial gainful activity-
     $108,941,870 Questioned Costs                                       level earnings after disability onset and before a favorable hearing
                                                                         decision should be reviewed to ensure the Agency appropriately
                                                                         addressed the earnings.
     Cross-Referred Social Security Numbers                              Recommendation 1: Review all cases where numberholders (NH)
     A-06-13-23091, 7/17/17                                              simultaneously receive benefit payments under cross-referred Social
     $170,621,570 Questioned Costs                                       Security numbers (SSN).
     $21,179,350 Funds Put To Better Use
                                                                         Recommendation 4: Review all cases where NHs received payments
                                                                         under SSNs that are cross-referred to SSNs that contain the NH’s
                                                                         death information.
     Manually Reduced Cross-Program Recovery Overpayments                Recommendation 1: Consider the cost-effectiveness of implementing
     A-06-17-50225, 7/5/17                                               controls to prevent systems from erroneously deleting SSI
     $7,029,192 Funds Put To Better Use                                  overpayments.
     $58,159,028 Questioned Costs
                                                                         Recommendation 3: Consider the cost-effectiveness of identifying
                                                                         and re-establishing SSI overpayments erroneously deleted by Manual
                                                                         Adjustment Credit and Award Data Entry adjustments.
     Statutory Benefit Continuation During the Appeals Process           Recommendation 3: SSA should evaluate the results of its actions
     For Medical Cessations                                              for the individuals we identified, and determine the feasibility of
     A-07-17-50127, 5/11/17                                              identifying the remaining individuals in our populations who should
     $60,252,538 Questioned Costs                                        have additional overpayments posted.

     Overpayments Collected Through Long-term Repayment                  Recommendation 1: SSA should evaluate its existing program debt
     Plans                                                               repayment policy to reduce long-term repayment arrangements.
     A-07-16-50082, 5/3/17
     $971,212,348 Questioned Costs
                                                                       FY 2016
     Beneficiaries Serving as Representative Payees Who Have a           Recommendation 3: SSA should evaluate the results of its corrective
     Representative Payee                                                action for the sampled beneficiaries, and take appropriate action to
     A-09-16-50109, 8/10/16                                              address the remaining populations of beneficiaries identified by our
     $57,711,460 Funds Put To Better Use                                 audit.
     Concurrently Entitled Beneficiaries Receiving Representative        Recommendation 2: Conduct timely matches of the Master
     Payee And Direct Payments                                           Beneficiary Record and Supplemental Security Record matches to
     A-09-16-50093, 5/5/16                                               identify and correct discrepant payment information.
     $114,820,087 Funds Put To Better Use
     Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Benefits Withheld       Recommendation 2: SSA should evaluate the results of its actions
     Pending a Windfall Offset Determination                             for the 58 beneficiaries and take appropriate action to address the
     A-09-15-15041, 3/21/16                                              remaining population of 61,734 beneficiaries identified during the
     $71,596,964 Questioned Costs                                        current audit.




29                                                                                 Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019
                                                              FY 2015
Cost-Benefit Analysis of Processing Low-dollar Overpayments     Recommendation 2: SSA should reevaluate its process for collecting
A-07-14-14065, 7/1/15                                           overpayments where the value of the overpayment is less than what
$3,175,601,911 Funds Put To Better Use                          SSA spends to collect the overpayment to ensure that it expends
                                                                resources on activities that result in the greatest return on investment.
                                                              FY 2014
Accuracy of Auxiliary Payments to Children After Divorce        Recommendation 2: Determine and implement the most cost-
A-13-11-21100, 5/12/14                                          effective process to prevent and detect overpayments to stepchildren
$2,942,001 Questioned Costs                                     after the parents’ divorce.
$448,299 Funds Put To Better Use




  Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019                                                                                   30
APPENDIX E: SIGNIFICANT NON-MONETARY RECOMMENDATIONS FROM
PRIOR FISCAL YEARS FOR WHICH CORRECTIVE ACTIONS HAVE NOT BEEN
COMPLETED



                                                21
                                                                Total Unimplemented Significant
                                                                Non-Monetary Recommendations from

                                                                February 2014 - September 2018


     --
      Report Title,                                       Unimplemented Recommendation
      Report Number, Issue Date,
      Dollar Value
                                                          FY 2018
      Accuracy of the Determination of Workers'           Recommendation 3: Take appropriate actions to improve the accuracy
      Compensation Offset During Disability Insurance     of Workers' Compensation/Public Disability Benefit (WC/PDB) offset
      Claims Processing                                   determinations during Disability Insurance claims processing. For example,
      A-02-14-34090, 9/25/18                              determine whether the Social Security Administration (SSA) should clarify
                                                          policy, improve access to online resources, improve systems controls, and/or
                                                          initiate data matches with WC/PDB payers.
      Effectiveness of the Social Security                Recommendation 3: Conduct periodic follow-up interviews to reduce the risk
      Administration's Medicare Non-utilization Project   of improper payments to deceased beneficiaries.
      A-08-17-50261, 9/19/18
      Controls over the Deletion of Prisoner Records      Recommendation 1: Identify the causes of erroneous prisoner record
      A-05-17-50256, 9/5/18                               deletions we identified and make corrections to prevent future occurrences.
      Match of Treasury Death Information Against         Recommendation 2: Determine the feasibility and cost effectiveness of
      Social Security Administration Records              obtaining death reports from the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) when
      A-06-18-50568, 8/27/18                              Treasury receives confirmed death information for other federal benefit-paying
                                                          agencies’ beneficiaries.
      Underpayments Paid on Supplemental Security         Recommendation 1: SSA should determine whether, as part of its information
      Income Records with Outstanding Overpayments        technology systems modernization, it could limit the number of manual
      A-07-17-50182, 7/23/18                              actions required to ensure it withholds SSI prior month underpayments from
                                                          SSI recipients to recover outstanding overpayments.
      Overpayments Not Collected Through Benefit          Recommendation 2: SSA should determine whether, as part of its Debt
      Withholding                                         Management modernization initiative, it could automate the manual actions
      A-07-18-50278, 7/16/18                              currently required to ensure it initiates benefit withholding at the appropriate
                                                          time.
      Master Beneficiary Record Death Information that    Recommendation 2: Develop system enhancements that ensure death
      Did Not Appear on the Numident                      information input on payment records is also recorded on the Numident.
      A-06-17-50190, 5/3/18
      Using Nursing Home Data to Determine Suitability    Recommendation: Review and analyze the Department of Health and Human
      of Representative Payees                            Services' Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services nursing home data to
      A-03-16-50056, 3/21/18                              determine whether it can be a tool to assess the suitability of organizational
                                                          payees that are nursing homes to ensure they are serving beneficiaries’ best
                                                          interests, especially those organizational payees that might not meet SSA's
                                                          monitoring criteria.


31                                                                            Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019
Higher Benefits for Dually Entitled                 Recommendation 4: SSA should determine whether it should develop
Widow(er)s Had They Delayed Applying for            additional controls to ensure it informs widow(er) beneficiaries of their option
Retirement Benefits                                 to delay their application for retirement benefits.
A-09-18-50559, 2/14/18
                                                    FY 2017
Cross-Referred Social Security Numbers              Recommendation 2: Resolve any cases where SSA identifies an individual
A-06-13-23091, 7/17/17                              who receives benefit payments under more than one of his or her own properly
                                                    assigned Social Security numbers (SSN).

                                                    Recommendation 3: Implement system controls to prevent simultaneous
                                                    issuance of payments under cross-referred SSNs.

                                                    Recommendation 6: Add death information to the Numident records of non-
                                                    beneficiary numberholders (NH) whose SSNs are cross-referred to SSNs that
                                                    contain the NHs’ death information.
The Social Security Administration’s Telework       Recommendation 1: Determine whether additional customer service or
Program and its Effect on Customer Service          production metrics would assist in measuring how telework affects field
(Congressional Response Report)                     office’s (FO) ability to provide customer service and employee productivity.
A-04-17-50267, 7/12/17
                                                    Recommendation 3: Determine the effect telework has on customer wait
                                                    times when an FO experiences an unusually high number of visitors.
Cross-Program Recovery to Collect Overpayments      Recommendation 2: Consider establishing automated alerts to notify staff to
A-13-15-15029, 4/28/17                              review certain overpayments when cross-program recovery should be used to
                                                    collect overpayments.
                                                    FY 2016
Underpayments Payable to Widow(er)s Eligible        Recommendation 4: SSA should determine whether it should develop a
for a Higher Monthly Benefit Amount                 systems alert to detect when a widow(er)'s indexing primary insurance amount
A-09-14-34103, 4/11/16                              should apply.
Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance         Recommendation 3: Take appropriate action to address the population of
Benefits Withheld Pending a Windfall Offset         26,558 beneficiaries identified during our 2011 audit.
Determination
A-09-15-15041, 3/21/16                              Recommendation 4: Periodically identify and select for review beneficiaries
                                                    whose Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance benefits are being withheld
                                                    pending a windfall offset determination.
                                                    FY 2015
Supplemental Security Income Overpayments           Recommendation 3: Establish a plan, as resources allow, to review remaining
Pending a Collection Determination by the Social    overpayments where no recent actions had been taken to collect overpayments
Security Administration                             from individuals no longer receiving SSI payments, focusing on the highest
A-07-15-15030, 9/22/15                              dollar overpayments first.
Follow-Up: Collection of Civil Monetary Penalties   Recommendation 2: Pursue alternative methods to collect section 1129
A-06-14-14047, 3/10/15                              civil monetary penalty balances due from individuals who do not receive SSA
                                                    payments or voluntarily remit restitution.
                                                    FY 2014
Supplemental Security Income Telephone Wage         Recommendation 1: Adopt a process to identify and report unique
Reporting                                           Supplemental Security Income Telephone Wage Reporting classifications (for
A-15-12-11233, 2/6/14                               example, wage reports, wage reporters, wage earners, users, usage, etc.) for a
                                                    specified period.




       Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019                                                                             32
     APPENDIX F: OPEN RECOMMENDATIONS AND REPORTS WITH
     UNIMPLEMENTED RECOMMENDATIONS
     The Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General has open recommendations dating from Fiscal Year (FY) 2011.
     All recommendations from years prior to FY 2011 are closed. The chart below identifies the number of reports with unimplemented
     recommendations by year and the aggregate potential cost savings of those recommendations.



                                   Number of
                                                                  Number of
                                  Reports with                                                 Dollar Value of Aggregate
               Year                                             Unimplemented
                                 Unimplemented                                                  Potential Cost Savings
                                                               Recommendations
                                Recommendations
                2019
                                            6                             16                                          $1,106,494,820
          (as of March 31)

                2018                       34                             61                                          $2,200,644,642


                2017                       19                             32                                          $2,195,343,887


                2016                       13                             24                                            $281,227,735


                2015                        9                             12                                          $3,175,947,788


                2014                        7                             11                                              $3,526,453


                2013                        3                              3                                                     N/A


                2012                        4                              4                                            $196,258,314


                2011                        1                              1                                                     N/A


              TOTAL                        96                            164                                      $9,159,443,639




33                                                                               Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019
 Below is additional detail for each report included in the Number of Reports column above containing an outstanding unimplemented
 recommendation. These report summaries are also on our website, https://oig.ssa.gov.
 * Denotes significant unimplemented recommendation as reported in Appendix D or Appendix E.


                           Report Title                                Report Number           Issue Date          Dollar Value
The Social Security Administration’s Application of Due-process
Provisions for Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance               A-07-18-50622             3/29/2019             $403,512,715
Overpayments
Processing of Deferred Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance
                                                                         A-05-18-50620             3/15/2019               $39,721,952
Cases with a High Risk of Benefit Payment Error
Supplemental Security Income Underpayments                               A-15-18-50612            12/28/2018                         N/A
Accuracy of Disability Entitlement Dates for Primary Beneficiaries
                                                                         A-07-18-50257            12/21/2018             $656,658,460
Who Previously Filed Disability Claims
Beneficiaries Whose Payments Have Been Suspended and Have
                                                                         A-09-15-15039            12/21/2018                $6,601,693
Death Information on the Numident
The Social Security Administration’s Programs and Projects that
                                                                         A-04-18-50600             11/5/2018                         N/A
Assist Beneficiaries in Returning to Work
Accuracy of the Determination of Workers' Compensation Offset
                                                                         A-02-14-34090             9/25/2018               $33,820,756
During Disability Insurance Claims Processing*
Employers Reporting Wages with Nonwork Social Security Numbers           A-03-18-50537             9/25/2018                         N/A
The Cost of Administering Claimant Representative Fees                   A-04-17-50238             9/19/2018                  $942,049
Effectiveness of the Social Security Administration's Medicare Non-
                                                                         A-08-17-50261             9/19/2018               $17,583,591
utilization Project*
Interim Benefits Paid After a Disability Claim is Denied*                A-02-18-50543             9/13/2018                $2,142,834
The Social Security Administration's Comprehensive Integrity Review
                                                                         A-14-17-50097             9/10/2018                         N/A
Process
Controls over the Deletion of Prisoner Records*                          A-05-17-50256               9/5/2018                        N/A
Representative Payee Criminal Bar Policy*                                A-13-18-50154             8/31/2018               $13,730,931
Accuracy of Supplemental Security Income Payments to Recipients
                                                                         A-07-18-50295             8/30/2018                  $136,569
with Manually Deemed Income*
Processing Times for Continuing Disability Review Pre-hearing Case
                                                                         A-07-18-50391             8/29/2018                $7,793,036
Reviews at the Reconsideration Level of Appeal*
Match of Treasury Death Information Against Social Security
                                                                         A-06-18-50568             8/27/2018                         N/A
Administration Records*
Supplemental Security Income Recipients Who Have Not Had a
                                                                         A-01-17-50219             8/24/2018             $351,743,880
Redetermination in Longer than 10 Years*
Institutionalized Beneficiaries Who Have Earnings                        A-02-17-50140             8/20/2018                  $994,579
The Social Security Administration's Use of Administrative Tolerance
                                                                         A-04-16-50145               8/1/2018              $12,568,202
Waivers*
Follow-up: Dually Entitled Beneficiaries Who Are Subject to the
                                                                         A-09-17-50252               8/1/2018            $327,291,684
Windfall Elimination Provision and Government Pension Offset*
Accuracy of Month of Entitlement Determinations for Supplemental
Security Income Recipients Awarded Old-Age, Survivors and Disability     A-08-18-50582             7/27/2018             $599,107,616
Insurance Benefits*
Envoy, a Representative Payee for the Social Security Administration     A-13-18-50292             7/27/2018                         N/A
Underpayments Paid on Supplemental Security Income Records with
                                                                         A-07-17-50182             7/23/2018                         N/A
Outstanding Overpayments*
Overpayments Not Collected Through Benefit Withholding*                  A-07-18-50278             7/16/2018             $114,073,817


     Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019                                                                                   34
 * Denotes significant unimplemented recommendation as reported in Appendix D or Appendix E.



                            Report Title                                 Report Number          Issue Date         Dollar Value
 Beneficiaries in Suspended Payment Status Pending the Selection of
                                                                           A-09-17-50202             6/1/2018              $16,181,097
 a Representative Payee*
 Controls over Supplemental Security Income Applicants/Recipients'
                                                                           A-02-16-50066            5/29/2018                        N/A
 Transferring Ownership of Resources
 Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Debtors Who Were Not
                                                                           A-04-18-50265            5/25/2018              $88,295,888
 Current on an Installment Agreement*
 Follow-up: Payments to Individuals Whose Numident Record
                                                                           A-06-17-50232            5/24/2018              $26,139,218
 Contained a Death Entry*
 Incorrect Payments to Disabled Beneficiaries Who Return to Work           A-07-17-50131            5/15/2018                        N/A
 Master Beneficiary Record Death Information that Did Not Appear on
                                                                           A-06-17-50190             5/3/2018                        N/A
 the Numident*
 The Social Security Administration's Compliance with the Improper
 Payments Elimination and Recovery Improvement Act of 2012 in the          A-15-18-50566             5/1/2018                        N/A
 Fiscal Year 2017 Agency Financial Report
 Manual Adjustments to Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance
                                                                           A-07-18-50294             4/9/2018            $348,723,506
 Overpayments*
 Undeliverable Social Security Number Cards                                A-15-17-50279             4/2/2018                        N/A
 Using Nursing Home Data to Determine Suitability of Representative
                                                                           A-03-16-50056            3/21/2018                        N/A
 Payees*
 Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency
                                                                           A-13-17-50266            2/21/2018                  $22,804
 Purchase Card Project
 Higher Benefits for Dually Entitled Widow(er)s Had They Delayed
                                                                           A-09-18-50559            2/14/2018            $141,665,400
 Applying for Retirement Benefits*
 Claims-taking Systems Access Profiles                                     A-14-17-50096             2/5/2018                        N/A
 Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Benefits to Individuals
                                                                           A-13-17-34105           12/29/2017               $2,803,833
 Removed from the United States*
 The Cost-effectiveness of Vocational Rehabilitation Services*             A-02-17-14048           10/20/2017              $94,883,352
 Social Security Administration Employees Who Received Salary
 Increases While Working Under an Opportunity to Perform                   A-04-17-50208            9/14/2017                        N/A
 Successfully Plan
 The Social Security Administration's Manual Award Process for Initial
                                                                           A-08-16-50053             9/5/2017              $44,655,050
 Retirement and Survivors Insurance Claims
 Widow(er)s Eligible for an Earlier Initial Month of Entitlement*          A-09-17-50187             8/7/2017            $285,453,378
 Beneficiaries Who Worked After Their Disability Onset Dates and
                                                                           A-02-16-20132            7/18/2017            $108,941,870
 Before Favorable Hearing Decisions*
 Cross-referred Social Security Numbers*                                   A-06-13-23091            7/17/2017            $191,800,920
 The Social Security Administration’s Telework Program and Its Effect
                                                                           A-04-17-50267            7/12/2017                        N/A
 on Customer Service*
 Manually Reduced Cross-program Recovery Overpayments*                     A-06-17-50225             7/5/2017              $65,188,220
 Controls over Death Underpayments Paid to Non-beneficiaries               A-09-16-50114            6/29/2017                        N/A
 Supplemental Security Income Recipients Who Have Life Insurance
                                                                           A-02-16-21186            6/27/2017                        N/A
 Policies with Cash Surrender Values
 Supplemental Security Income Overpayments Resulting from the
                                                                           A-01-14-34091            6/12/2017               $9,168,980
 Goldberg-Kelly Procedures
 The Social Security Administration’s Information Technology Costs of
                                                                           A-04-16-50138            5/16/2017                        N/A
 the National Support Center


35                                                                             Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019
* Denotes significant unimplemented recommendation as reported in Appendix D or Appendix E.


                          Report Title                                  Report Number         Issue Date     Dollar Value
Statutory Benefit Continuation During the Appeals Process for
                                                                          A-07-17-50127          5/11/2017        $60,252,538
Medical Cessations*
The Social Security Administration’s Compliance with the Improper
Payments Elimination and Recovery Improvement Act of 2012 in the          A-15-17-50255           5/4/2017                N/A
Fiscal Year 2016 Agency Financial Report
Overpayments Collected Through Long-term Repayment Plans*                 A-07-16-50082           5/3/2017       $971,212,348
Cross-program Recovery to Collect Overpayments*                           A-13-15-15029          4/28/2017        $86,708,264
Manual Actions to Issue Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance
                                                                          A-07-17-50153          4/21/2017                N/A
Underpayments Less Than $6,000
Beneficiaries Whose Payments Have Been Suspended for No Child in
                                                                          A-09-17-50200          2/24/2017                N/A
Care and Who Are Serving as Representative Payees for Children
Individual Representative Payees Who Do Not Have a Social Security
                                                                          A-09-16-50159          2/17/2017       $371,962,319
Number in the Social Security Administration's Payment Records
Pre-effectuation Reviews of Favorable Hearing Decisions                   A-12-15-50015           2/7/2017                N/A
Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Benefits Affected by
                                                                          A-13-16-23006          9/29/2016                N/A
Federal Pensions
Access to the Social Security Administration’s my Social Security
                                                                          A-14-15-15010          9/29/2016                N/A
Online Services
The Social Security Administration’s Plan to Achieve Self-Support
                                                                          A-08-16-50030          9/27/2016                N/A
Program
Benefits Payable to Child Beneficiaries Whose Benefits Were Withheld
                                                                          A-09-16-50088          9/23/2016         $9,124,990
Pending the Selection of a Representative Payee
Beneficiaries Serving as Representative Payees Who Have a
                                                                          A-09-16-50109          8/10/2016        $57,711,460
Representative Payee*
Workload Oversight in the Miami Hearing Office                            A-12-15-50041           6/9/2016                N/A
Concurrently Entitled Beneficiaries Receiving Representative Payee
                                                                          A-09-16-50093           5/5/2016       $114,820,087
and Direct Payments*
Underpayments Payable to Widow(er)s Eligible for a Higher Monthly
                                                                          A-09-14-34103          4/11/2016                N/A
Benefit Amount*
Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Benefits Withheld Pending
                                                                          A-09-15-15041          3/21/2016        $71,596,964
a Windfall Offset Determination*
Households With Multiple Children Receiving Supplemental Security
                                                                          A-08-14-14098           3/2/2016                N/A
Income Payments Because of Mental Impairments
Higher Retirement Benefits Payable to Families of Disabled
                                                                          A-09-14-34080           2/2/2016        $27,974,234
Beneficiaries
Colorado Disability Determinations Service Administrative Cost
                                                                          A-06-15-50033         12/31/2015                N/A
Reporting
Accuracy of Disability Benefits to Beneficiaries Who Also Receive
                                                                          A-02-15-22114         11/13/2015                N/A
Federal Employees’ Compensation Act Payments
Oversight of the Benefit Offset National Demonstration Project            A-04-14-14078          9/22/2015                N/A
Supplemental Security Income Overpayments Pending a Collection
                                                                          A-07-15-15030          9/22/2015                N/A
Determination by the Social Security Administration*
Overpayment Waiver Requests Processed by Field Offices in Fiscal
                                                                          A-07-15-35031          7/30/2015                N/A
Years 2012 and 2013
Cost-benefit Analysis of Processing Low-dollar Overpayments*              A-07-14-14065           7/1/2015      $3,175,601,911
Reimbursement for Data Exchanges with Third Parties                       A-03-14-24027           5/8/2015                N/A


     Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019                                                                     36
   * Denotes significant unimplemented recommendation as reported in Appendix D or Appendix E.



                              Report Title                                  Report Number               Issue Date          Dollar Value
   Observations and Recommendations for the Disability Case
                                                                               A-14-15-50008                  5/4/2015                      N/A
   Processing System
   Fraud Risk Performance Audit of the Social Security Administration's
                                                                               A-15-15-25002                4/29/2015                       N/A
   Disability Programs
   Using Medicare Data to Identify Disabled Individuals Who Are
                                                                               A-08-13-13038                  4/7/2015                 $345,877
   Deceased
   Follow-up: Collection of Civil Monetary Penalties*                          A-06-14-14047                3/10/2015                       N/A
   Auxiliary Beneficiaries Who Do Not Have Their Own Social Security
                                                                               A-01-14-14036                9/29/2014                  $136,153
   Number
   Payments to Individuals with Deaths Reported in California from 1980
                                                                               A-06-14-21416                8/14/2014                       N/A
   to 1987
   Access Controls over the Business Services Online                           A-03-13-13015                  6/5/2014                      N/A
   Accuracy of Auxiliary Payments to Children after Divorce*                   A-13-11-21100                5/12/2014                 $3,390,300
   Supplemental Security Income Recipients Who Had Not Cashed Their
                                                                               A-09-13-23023                  4/7/2014                      N/A
   Checks Within 1 Year
   Improper Use of Children's Social Security Numbers                          A-03-12-21269                3/31/2014                       N/A
   Supplemental Security Income Telephone Wage Reporting*                      A-15-12-11233                  2/6/2014                      N/A
   Access Controls for the Social Security Number Verification Service         A-03-12-11204                4/18/2013                       N/A
   Direct Deposit Changes Initiated Through Financial Institutions
   and the Social Security Administration's Internet and Automated             A-14-12-21271               12/20/2012                       N/A
   800-Number Applications
   Benefit Payments Managed by Representative Payees of Children in
                                                                               A-13-12-11245                12/4/2012                       N/A
   Pennsylvania's State Foster Care Programs
   Management Advisory Report: Supplemental Security Income
                                                                               A-06-09-29149                  8/7/2012               $62,563,749
   Payments to Multi-recipient Households
   Beneficiaries Who Had Not Cashed their Social Security Checks
                                                                               A-09-10-20133                7/19/2012               $133,694,565
   Within 1 Year
   Title II Deceased Beneficiaries Who Do Not Have Death Information
                                                                               A-09-11-21171                  7/9/2012                      N/A
   on the Numident
   State Disability Determination Services' Employee and Contractor
                                                                               A-15-11-21180               12/21/2011                       N/A
   Suitability Program
   Recovery of Title II Payments Issued After Beneficiaries’ Deaths            A-09-10-11037                  1/4/2011                      N/A


REPORTS WITH RECOMMENDATIONS ISSUED BY MARCH 31, 2019 FOR WHICH NO
MANAGEMENT DECISION HAD BEEN MADE BY THE END OF THIS REPORTING PERIOD
We do not have any reports with recommendations issued by March 31, 2019 for which no management decision had been made by the end of this
reporting period.




REPORTS FOR WHICH NO ESTABLISHMENT COMMENT WAS RETURNED WITHIN 60
DAYS OF BEING PROVIDED THE REPORT
During this reporting period, the Socia Security Administration responded to all reports issued to it for comment within 60 days.


 37                                                                                  Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019
APPENDIX G: CLOSED AUDITS AND INVESTIGATIONS NOT AVAILABLE TO THE
PUBLIC
OFFICE OF AUDIT
For this reporting period, we did not have any reviews not made available to the public. Of the 44 audit reports issued this period, three of
them were issued with "limited distribution" due to the sensitivity of the reported information and findings.

•	   Security of the Social Security Administration’s Cloud Environment (A-14-18-50498) – issued August 2019
•	   The Social Security Administration’s Controls for Identifying Potentially Fraudulent Internet Claims (A-09-18-50655) – issued
     September 2019
•	   Unauthorized my Social Security Direct Deposit Changes Through May 2018 (A-01-18-50669) – issued September 2019

To protect the sensitive data and yet provide the greatest transparency, we published the title, date, and a summary of the reviews on our
public website.




OFFICE OF INVESTIGATIONS
During the reporting period, we closed one investigation of alleged misconduct by a senior Social Security Administration (SSA) employee
that was not disclosed to the public.The allegations were partially substantiated, as detailed below.

Description of Investigation: A senior government employee within SSA was alleged to have held a joint bank account with a
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipient and to have assisted the recipient with an appeal of an SSA decision. The employee was
also alleged to have had an improper relationship with a law firm representing applicants for Disability Insurance and SSI. It was further
alleged that the employee completed work assignments for another employee and attributed the work to that employee. The employee
retired from SSA.
Status: Closed
Disposition: The allegation of an improper relationship with a law firm was not substantiated. The other allegations were substantiated.
Department of Justice (DOJ) Referral: Yes
DOJ Referral Date: August 10, 2016
DOJ Declination: August 10, 2016




     Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019                                                                                        38
 APPENDIX H: INFORMATION DESCRIBED UNDER SECTION 804(B) OF THE
 FEDERAL FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 1996
 Section 804(b) of the Federal Financial Management Integrity Act (FFMIA) requires an Office of Inspector General (OIG) to report whether its
 agency has met the targets in a remediation plan. Because the Social Security Administration (SSA) is FFMIA-compliant, it does not have a
 remediation plan. Therefore, SSA OIG does not have information to report.




39                                                                                Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019
APPENDIX I: PEER REVIEWS
OFFICE OF AUDIT
Generally accepted Government auditing standards requires that our Office of Audit undergo a peer review every 3 years to determine
whether we suitably designed our system of quality control, and whether we are complying with that system, to provide us with
reasonable assurance of conforming with applicable professional standards. There are three possible ratings: Pass, Pass with
Deficiencies, and Fail.

•	   The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted our last peer review and issued its final System
     Review Report in August 2018. We received a rating of Pass. The VA OIG did not identify any findings or make any recommendations
     as a result of its review.
•	   On June 10, 2019, we issued our System Review Report for the peer review we conducted of the Department of Energy OIG’s audit
     organization. We issued a rating of Pass and did not make any recommendations.
•	   There are no outstanding recommendations from prior peer reviews we completed of other OIGs, nor from prior peer reviews other
     OIGs completed of our Office of Audit.



OFFICE OF INVESTIGATIONS
Our Office of Investigations is required to undergo a peer review every 3 years to ensure general and qualitative standards comply with
the requirements of the Quality Standards for Investigations adopted by the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency
(CIGIE). The peer review also ascertains whether adequate internal safeguards and management procedures exist to ensure that the law
enforcement powers conferred by the 2002 amendments to the Inspector General Act of 1978 are properly exercised pursuant to Section
6(e) of the Inspector General Act of 1978 (as amended) and the U.S. Attorney General Guidelines for OIGs with Statutory Law Enforcement
Authority.

•	   During the reporting period, the Department of Homeland Security OIG conducted a peer review of our Office of Investigations; the
     review findings have not yet been provided.
•	   We concluded a peer review of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) OIG, Office of Investigations, on February 7,
     2019. We found HHS OIG was in compliance with the quality standards established by CIGIE and the Attorney General guidelines, and
     we have no outstanding unimplemented recommendations to report.




     Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019                                                                                    40
     APPENDIX J: REVIEW OF LEGISLATION & REGULATIONS
     Section 4(a)(2) of the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, requires the Social Securiy Administration (SSA) Office of the Inspector
     General (OIG) to review existing and proposed legislation as well as regulations relating to SSA’s programs and operations, and to make
     recommendations concerning impact on such programs or on the prevention of fraud, waste, and abuse. We accomplish this in several
     ways:

     •	   Our audits and other reports evaluate SSA’s compliance with existing laws and regulations.
     •	   We recommend, when appropriate, issuing regulations or seeking appropriate legislative authority, and we provide a status of those
          recommendations in our Semiannual Report to Congress.
     •	   We provide Congressional Response Reports in response to direct requests.
     •	   We describe planned reviews in our annual Audit Work Plan that will address issues related to laws and regulations.
     •	   We communicate directly with congressional staff as needed to discuss legislative issues relating to our work.

     CIGIE LEGISLATION COMMITTEE
     SSA OIG is an active member of the Legislation Committee of Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE). In
     this role, we serve on a small team of Inspectors General (IG), working in close coordination with CIGIE’s Executive Officers to monitor,
     evaluate, prioritize, and develop legislative products that affect the IG community. The Committee is an essential liaison between the
     IGs and Congress, providing experience-based practical and technical support. To effectively identify, craft, and propose legislation to
     enhance the success of the IGs, the Committee maintains an open channel of informal communication with congressional staff, and
     provides formal comments on behalf of CIGIE.

     During this period, the Committee coordinated community-wide and agency-specific concerns of CIGIE members on an array of proposed
     laws relating to good Government and proposed legislation directly impacting OIGs. For example, we provided comments for inclusion
     in the Committee's comments to Congress on referrals of whistleblower reports about an OIG made to the Office of the Special Counsel,
     required information to Congress including disclosure of high-level subjects of investigation prior to findings and semiannual reports, and
     acting IG appointments.




41                                                                                   Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019
APPENDIX K: INVESTIGATIONS INVOLVING SENIOR GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
WHERE ALLEGATONS OF MISCONDUCT WERE SUBSTANTIATED
During the reporting period, we closed one investigation of alleged misconduct by a senior Social Security Administration (SSA) employee
that was disclosed to the public.The allegations were substantiated, as detailed below.

Description of Investigation: A senior government employee within SSA was alleged to have made credible threats to harm SSA
employees. The employee died as the result of an apparent self-inflicted injury during an incident with police.
Status: Closed
Disposition: Allegations substantiated.
Department of Justice (DOJ) Referral: Yes
DOJ Referral Date: August 21, 2018
DOJ Declination: August 24, 2018




    Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019                                                                                    42
APPENDIX L: SSA INTERFERENCE WITH OIG INDEPENDENCE
For the reporting period, we have no instances to report of the Social Security Administration interfering with Office of the Inspector
General independence or our ability to carry out our oversight work.




43                                                                                 Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019
APPENDIX M: DESCRIPTION OF WHISTLEBLOWER ALLEGATIONS AND
INSTANCES OF RETALIATION
WHISTLEBLOWER ALLEGATIONS
The Inspector General Act of 1978 authorizes the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to receive and investigate whistleblower
allegations, or allegations from Social Security Administration (SSA) employees, contractors, and job applicants concerning alleged
mismanagement, waste of funds, abuse of authority, specific danger to public health or safety, or other violations within the Agency.
Federal law protects government employees, contractors, and job applicants who submit whistleblower allegations from retaliation via
certain prohibited personnel practices, including, for example, a significant change in duties or a disciplinary action.

OIG’s Whistleblower Protection Unit evaluates all incoming whistleblower disclosures—and allegations of retaliation—from SSA
employees, contractors, and job applicants; and determines if OIG action is warranted. During this reporting period, we received 34
whistleblower allegations. We closed 32 allegations, and 22 allegations—some received in prior reporting periods—remained open while
we continued to evaluate them.


WHISTLEBLOWER RETALIATION
Section 5(a)(20) of the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, requires SSA OIG to provide a detailed description of any instance of
whistleblower retaliation, including information about the official found to have engaged in retaliation and what, if any, consequences the
establishment imposed to hold that official accountable. There are no instances of retaliation to report for this reporting period.




     Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019                                                                                      44
GLOSSARY OF ACRONYMS




            CDI        Cooperative Disability Investigations
           CIGIE       Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency
            CMP        civil monetary penalty
            DDS        disability determination services
             DI        Disability Insurance
            DOJ        Department of Justice
             FO        field office
            FPS        Federal Protective Service
             FY        fiscal year
            GSA        General Services Administration
             IG        Inspector General
              IT       information technology
             NH        numberholder
           OASDI       Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance
            OIG        Office of the Inspector General
            RRB        Railroad Retirement Board
            SSA        Social Security Administration
             SSI       Supplemental Security Income
            SSN        Social Security number
          Treasury     Department of the Treasury
             VA        Department of Veterans Affairs
          WC/PDB       Workers' Compensation/Public Disability Benefit




45                                                   Semiannual Report to Congress - Second Half FY 2019