Whereas laws from 2018 sought to have the Social Security Administration (SSA) enter into agreements with states to share and match SSA and little one welfare knowledge, a Authorities Accountability Workplace (GAO) survey has discovered that some state little one welfare businesses are figuring out challenges to collaborating in these knowledge exchanges.
The Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018 directed SSA to enter into data-sharing agreements with states on a month-to-month foundation “to determine represented minor beneficiaries who’re in foster care and for beneficiaries whose foster care preparations have modified, to re-determine the suitable payee.”
As of April 2021, GAO mentioned that 31 state little one welfare businesses entered into agreements with SSA to share knowledge on represented minor beneficiaries in foster care by means of knowledge exchanges, with 14 of those states actively exchanging knowledge with SSA. The 2018 laws doesn’t explicitly say that states have an obligation to enter knowledge exchanges with SSA.
“Based on SSA, many state little one welfare businesses have been hindered by elements similar to inadequate funding or sources,” wrote GAO. “GAO’s nationwide survey discovered that states, normally, recognized accessible employees and know-how points as probably the most difficult elements to implementing or sustaining knowledge exchanges after an settlement was signed.”
GAO additionally mentioned that nationwide knowledge from SSA confirmed that little one welfare businesses have been the payees for roughly 81 p.c of the greater than 25,000 represented minor beneficiaries in foster care as of Nov. 30, 2020, however that these knowledge possible mirror an undercount.
SSA employees mentioned that various challenges occurred when testing knowledge exchanges with states, together with sending recordsdata that included lacking or duplicate knowledge or knowledge that had not been correctly up to date. The employees mentioned that these similar points typically occurred after testing was accomplished and as soon as a state was repeatedly exchanging knowledge.
“Among the many 31 state little one welfare businesses responding to this survey query, about one-half reported that accessible employees (16 states) and know-how points (15 states) have been a minimum of reasonably difficult to implementing or sustaining a knowledge trade,” wrote GAO. “Eleven states additionally reported that knowledge assortment points have been a minimum of reasonably difficult.”
GAO supplied a draft of the report back to SSA and the Division of Well being and Human Providers (HHS) for assessment and remark. SSA mentioned that it was “persevering with to work with states with whom is doesn’t have knowledge trade agreements and to help states which have agreements however aren’t actively exchanging knowledge.” HHS didn’t have feedback on the report.