Social Security Administration's Beneficiary Rehabilitation Program

Gao ID: HRD-81-22 November 10, 1980

GAO reviewed the Beneficiary Rehabilitation Program (BRP) of the Social Security Administration (SSA). The primary purpose of BRP is to provide savings to the trust funds by returning as many disabled beneficiaries as possible to the work force, thereby terminating their social security disability benefits. GAO focused on the question of whether available data could be used to determine the program's effectiveness.

SSA has neither collected all the necessary data nor established a management information system essential to assess the program's effectiveness. The eligibility of many beneficiaries who were served by the program was questionable because they were expected to medically recover at the time they were awarded disability benefits. The criteria for selection of individuals for the program include: (1) existence of a disabling physical or mental impairment which is not so rapidly progressive as to outrun the effect of vocational rehabilitation services, or to preclude restoration of the beneficiary to productive activity; (2) the disabling effect of the impairment, without the services planned, is expected to remain at a level of severity which would result in the continuing payment of disability benefits; (3) there is a reasonable expectation that such services will result in the restoration of the individual to productive activity; and (4) the reasonably predictable period of productive work activity is long enough that the benefits to be saved and the contributions which would be paid to the trust funds on future earnings would offset the cost of the services planned.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

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