SSA applicants like new online claim form, IG says

99 percent of the applicants interviewed in a survey scored it good to excellent

The Social Security Administration’s online “iClaim” benefits application form scores in the 99 percent range for overall customer satisfaction, according to a new audit by SSA Inspector General Patrick O’Carroll Jr.

Retiree applicants who were interviewed after using the online system gave it high scores for being easy to navigate and understand and rated their satisfaction as very high overall, according to the report released March 7.

“Specifically, 99 percent of the applicants found their overall experience filing online to be excellent, very good, or good,” O’Carroll wrote.


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Half of the applicants surveyed rated their experience as excellent, while 41 percent said “very good,” 9 percent said “good,” and the remaining 0.5 percent rated it “fair.”

The SSA implemented the iClaim online application in 2008 for processing most types of benefits claims, including claims for retirement, disability and spousal benefits.

Of the 2.5 million people who applied for retirement benefits in fiscal 2010, about 925,000, or 37 percent, used the iClaim form online. The agency hopes to boost that percentage to more than 50 percent by fiscal 2012.

For the study the IG interviewed 200 applicants who used iClaim for retirement benefits in May 2010.

In judging the ease of navigating the iClaim form, 66 percent judged it to be very easy, 31 percent said “somewhat easy” and 3.5 percent said “somewhat hard.”

When surveyed on the ease of understanding the iClaim form, 73 percent said it was “very easy” to understand, 25 percent said “somewhat easy,” 1.5 percent said “somewhat hard” and .5 percent said “very hard.” Another 0.5 percent couldn't recall.

When asked specifically about the ease of filling out the work history questions on the iClaim form, 54 percent said it was “very easy,” 39 percent said “somewhat easy,” 7 percent said “somewhat hard” and 1.5 percent did not recall.


About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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