Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the lower allowance rate for black applicants, when compared to white applicants, under the Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Programs, focusing on reasons for the racial differences in: (1) state agencies' initial disability decisions; and (2) administrative law judges' (ALJ) appeals decisions.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Social Security Administration||The Commissioner of Social Security should investigate the reasons for the racial difference in allowance rates among young SSI applicants at the initial decision level and act to correct any unwarranted disparities.|
|Social Security Administration||To maintain the integrity of the DI and SSI Programs, as even the appearance of discrimination is intolerable, the Commissioner of Social Security should further investigate the racial difference in allowance rates at the ALJ level and, if needed, take appropriate actions to correct and prevent any unwarranted disparities.|
|Social Security Administration||In light of the particularly large racial difference in allowance rates associated with schizophrenia, as well as other mental, neurological/sensory, and respiratory categories of disorders, the Commissioner of Social Security should look into the criteria used in adjudicating such cases and the other circumstances that may explain the racial difference.|