Changes Needed To Prevent Commuters and Transients From Receiving Supplemental Security Income

Gao ID: HRD-80-15 January 4, 1980

A review was made of the adequacy of the Social Security Administration's (SSA) policies, procedures, and practices for determining whether Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients remain outside the United States for 30 or more consecutive days and thus are ineligible for the benefits.

No significant problems were found in the SSA operation for detecting recipients outside the United States for 30 or more consecutive days. However, the concept of "resident in the United States" has not been sufficiently defined. Some SSI recipients receive payments while residing principally outside the United States, particularly along the Mexican border. The Social Security Act does not preclude a recipient from residing principally outside the United States for up to 29 days each month and remaining eligible for SSI benefits. Recipients become ineligible only when they are outside the United States for 30 consecutive days. There is a need to make the residency requirement more restrictive to preclude commuters, transients, and sojourners from receiving benefits.


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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