Social Security

IRS Data Can Help SSA Credit More Wages Gao ID: HRD-90-112 August 31, 1990

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on how the Social Security Administration (SSA) resolved problems in crediting wages to workers' social security accounts.

GAO found that: (1) as of June 1989, SSA had about 178 million wage reports worth $138.4 billion of uncredited earnings in its suspense file; (2) SSA reduced the size of the suspense file and credited more workers' wages by using independently developed Internal Revenue Service (IRS) data to identify to whom the uncredited earnings belonged; (3) as of June 1989, IRS had resolved 345,950 tax year 1987 wage reports, representing $2.1 billion in wages, that SSA continued to carry as unresolved in its suspense file; (4) although not all IRS resolutions passed the SSA validation check for crediting wages to individual accounts, SSA could credit many of the accounts after additional followup; (5) SSA could directly credit about 120,000 of the IRS resolutions that matched valid SSA accounts; and (6) IRS matched the remaining unresolved 226,380 wage reports to social security (SSN) and name combinations that did not agree with the SSA official SSN and name control file.


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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