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Inspector General Report Highlights Shortcomings of Social Security Administration’s Modernized Development Worksheet Process

Thursday, October 21, 2021
Inspector General Report Highlights Shortcomings of Social Security Administration's Modernized Development Worksheet Process

The report uncovered that the Social Security Administration does not have adequate controls for resolving high-priority requests sent through the MDW process.

A recent report from the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General attempted to determine the effectiveness of the SSA’s controls for high-priority requests, specifically, those sent through the modernized development worksheet (MDW) process.

MDW was designed to help employees that need to access information from the SSA. Processing roles and system access varies across the Social Security Administration’s processing centers, teleservice centers, and field offices. MDWs are labeled either routine or high-priority and are requests for action from the other types of SSA offices.

High-priority requests with MDWs are typically made for cases that involve awards and disallowances of claims, start-and-stop payment actions, appeals, congressional inquiries, and public-relations issues. The SSA instructs its employees to conduct follow-ups after 20 days of a high-priority request going unaddressed.

The Inspector General’s report identified over 120,000 benefit records with high-priority MDWs pending at the processing centers on January 28th, 2020. 68% of these were pending for at least 60 days. The IG took 100 of these requests that were pending for at least 60 days and reviewed them.

The report uncovered that the Social Security Administration does not have adequate controls for resolving high-priority requests sent through the MDW process. In many cases, the SSA made improper or delayed payments and inflated their own backlogs. As of April 2021, the SSA had not resolved 24 out of the 100 cases sampled. The IG estimates that this likely equates to approximately 20,000 records going unresolved, which resulted in over $49 million in improper payments.

Twenty-seven benefit records were resolved between 71 and 592 days after the request, 21 of which resulted in delayed payments. The IG estimates that over 22,000 cases had delayed payments, totaling over $210 million. For the remaining 49 benefits records, employees either resolved high-priority MDWs but did not clear them or made incorrect inputs on MDW requests.

Based on the findings, the Inspector General has recommended the SSA take appropriate actions to unresolved high-priority MDWs and improve its monitoring of these cases. They also suggested to take measures to ensure processing center employees properly clear high-priority MDWs when they approve them.

If your claims with the SSA have been delayed, seeking council might be an appropriate step. Talk to an experienced Social Security Disability attorney today. We offer a free consultation and have convenient office locations in New York. Use our online form or call us at 855-280-7585.

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