Report Summary

Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General

June 2009

Benefits Paid to Title II Beneficiaries with a Child-in-Care



To determine whether Title II beneficiaries who received benefits because they had a child in their care were entitled to the benefits paid to them.


To be eligible for child-in-care benefits, certain beneficiaries must have in their care a child beneficiary under age 16; a mentally disabled child age 16 or older, or a physically disabled child age 16 or older for whom they are providing personal services, such as feeding or dressing. 

The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses its Title II Redesign (T2RD) system to analyze information in the Agency’s systems each month to determine whether the last child in a beneficiary’s care is no longer entitled to benefits or has turned age 16.

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Our Findings

Based on our review of two samples, we estimated about $3.0 million in incorrect benefit payments went undetected by SSA.

In addition, we estimate SSA will continue to incorrectly pay about $1.8 million over the next 12 months to individuals who are no longer entitled to child-in-care benefits if the Agency does not take action.

Within our samples, we found that beneficiaries were incorrectly paid child-in-care benefits because these cases were not identified by the T2RD system.  For example, in some cases, beneficiaries’ claims were processed incorrectly by SSA staff and, as a result, were not detected by T2RD; and in some other cases, beneficiaries were no longer providing personal services for their physically disabled child—and T2RD does not have any automated controls to detect these types of cases.

Our Recommendations

We recommend that SSA:

  1. Review the remaining cases in our two populations in which it appears the Title II beneficiaries do not have an eligible child in their care. 
  2. Remind employees of the proper procedures to follow when processing child-in-care benefit payments. 
SSA agreed with the recommendations.