Data

SSA gets new access to payroll data

Shutterstock image (by Laborant): clear magnifying glass, blurred binary code. 

Amid all hubbub of the White House's string of groundbreaking executive orders in the last couple of weeks, the Social Security Administration plans to leverage new data access authority.

The SSA's inspector general publicized agency plans to develop rules and policy to tap into real-time electronic payroll information to help reduce improper payments and improve administration of its benefits programs.

Specifically, SSA is permitted to require applicants to the Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income to authorize direct access to payroll records in order to determine eligibility.

One remaining hurdle requires SSA to enter into data agreements with private payroll data providers to get current wage information.

Previously, field office employees had to rely on getting and analyzing "mounds of paperwork with aging data, or rely on the beneficiary to report the data" in a timely manner, according to a Jan. 26 OIG blog post.

With the new payroll data-matching capability, field offices' workloads will be reduced, which can prevent improper payments, it said.

The agency plans to publish a notice of the move in the Federal Register, update its automated systems and develop training guidelines and procedures for agency employees.

It aims to complete that work and implement the electronic wage gathering provision by the end of the year.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


Featured

  • Cybersecurity

    DHS floats 'collective defense' model for cybersecurity

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wants her department to have a more direct role in defending the private sector and critical infrastructure entities from cyberthreats.

  • Defense
    Defense Secretary James Mattis testifies at an April 12 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Mattis: Cloud deal not tailored for Amazon

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to quell "rumors" that the Pentagon's planned single-award cloud acquisition was designed with Amazon Web Services in mind.

  • Census
    shutterstock image

    2020 Census to include citizenship question

    The Department of Commerce is breaking with recent practice and restoring a question about respondent citizenship last used in 1950, despite being urged not to by former Census directors and outside experts.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.