SSA falls short of goal for retirees filing online -- again

For the second year in a row, the Social Security Administration failed to meet one of its top-priority goals for increasing the percentage of retirees filing applications online, according to the agency’s most recent performance evaluation.

The SSA set a goal to have 44 percent of retirees filing online in fiscal 2011. The actual percentage who filed online was 41 percent, states the SSA Performance & Accountability Report for Fiscal Year 2011.

The previous year, the agency also fell short of its goal. The SSA previously said 37 percent of retirees filed online in fiscal 2010, while the goal was 38 percent that year.


Related story:

SSA misses target for online applications in fiscal 2010


The SSA has been actively trying to shift more retirement applications online, where processing is more streamlined and automated, to prepare for 80 million baby-boomer retirements.

As of February 2011, the SSA had a goal of having 50 percent of retiree applications filed online by the end of fiscal 2012. Currently the agency processes about 5 million claims a year for retirees, survivors and health benefits.

To improve things this year, agency officials said they intend to use more targeted advertising and more Spanish-language services. The SSA website and online filing system generally have received very good reviews from retirees who use the system.

The report was recently published online on the SSA website. There was no indication of the exact date of publication.

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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