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Social Security Administration To Pay Out Benefits Withheld Due to Bad Implementation of Data Base

Posted Aug 13 2009 6:26pm 1 Comment

In running the queries it appeared that anyone with any kind of warrant was denied benefits, some people had erroneous warrants and were denied benefits.  One example cited a woman in California who was denied based on an outstanding warrant years old in Florida for drugs, problem was she image had never been to Florida nor did drugs.   This actually says something positive here in the fact that someone is taking a look at the integrity of the data that is being matched for decisions, the algorithms used, how accurate is the data.  Social Security is needing to update as well to move from the old Cobol based system before room gets short, see the link below.

New Data Center for Social Security as they face running short of space – Stimulus Funds

If you have been denied benefits, check and see if you might have any warrants floating around out there.   We have the same in healthcare now too with mistakes and data not being 100% correct.  A visit to the doctor from years back, perhaps coded as a problem could show that you have a certain disease, thus premiums could be higher or you could be denied insurance coverage on this fact alone.  As a simple example, for years physicals were not covered, thus in order to get paid and not have the patient pay out of pocket, diagnosis codes were entered to get the office visit for a physical covered, and I have a feeling there’s a lot of those out there going way back.  I remember one of those from years back of my own, it was pretty common place. 

This also makes a good case for getting a PHR to indeed find out what is out there in your file, as you may be shocked!  When you have the opportunity to import insurance claim data, medication history, etc. that comes from all the sources available you get a good picture of what is on your rap sheet through the various avenues. Again I will come back once more though to education and how the processes to do this need to be implemented from Congress all the way down.   I would really like to hear a personal experience of someone in Congress going through the steps and sharing their own experience as we all have “stuff” on file and need to sort it out.  At the end of all of this though too, you benefit with having a PHR to help you and healthcare facilities with your medical history, helps avoid mistakes, some of which can be lifesaving. 

Check out the related reading below, Social Security is also in the game for Electronic Medical Records too.  BD 

The Social Security Administration has agreed to pay more than $500 million in benefits that had been withheld from 80,000 people since January 2007 and to eliminate overpayment balances for tens of thousands of others. The decision is the result of a class action lawsuit against the agency that boiled down to a poorly implemented database system.

The government is permitted by law to withhold benefits to fugitive felons, but the Social Security Administration had put into place an automated system that withheld payments and suspended benefits of anyone whose name matched those in a number of databases of outstanding warrants. That meant that just about anyone with an outstanding arrest warrant was denied benefits, including people who were unaware of warrants, were falsely accused or whose crimes were unproven, or had long-dormant warrants or minor infractions.

Automated System Backfires On Social Security Administration – InformationWeek

Related Reading:

Social Security budgets 24 Million for EHRs

Social Security likes PHRs too – wanting to work with EMR and PHR software with pilot program

EHRs go beyond treatment – Social Security Pilot Program with Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston

Social Security Disability - New Debit Card, Going Paperless
Comments (1)
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It has been contended that Social Security is going bankrupt. The critics will have another point in their favor this year. The Social Security Administration is going to pay out more than it takes in. It isn't the first time, either. The 1980s saw comparable trouble with the SSA. Social Security maintains a trust fund where it holds all funds, and shortfalls are precisely what the fund is there to fight.

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