Report Summary

Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General

March 2009

Administrative Costs Claimed by the Utah Disability Determination Service




To evaluate the Utah Disability Determination Services’ (UT-DDS) internal controls over the accounting and reporting of administrative costs, determine whether costs claimed by the UT-DDS were allowable and properly allocated and funds were properly drawn, and assess limited areas of the general security controls environment.  Our audit included the administrative costs claimed by the UT-DDS during Federal Fiscal Years 2006 and 2007.


The Disability Insurance (DI) program provides benefits to wage earners and their families in the event the wage earner becomes disabled.  The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program provides benefits to financially needy individuals who are aged, blind, and/or disabled.  Disability determinations under both DI and SSI are performed by DDSs in each State and other responsible jurisdiction. 

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Our Findings

The UT-DDS made duplicate payments for consultative examinations (CE) and medical evidence of record, reimbursed CE providers at a rate that exceeded the maximum rate allowed under Federal regulations, did not follow its established criteria for incentive payments to CE providers, and needed to improve its controls over the CE provider sanction process.  Regarding general security controls, we found the UT-DDS needed to improve its computer inventory controls.  In addition, the UT-DDS’ security plan was incomplete, disaster recovery plan (DRP) had not been tested, office key management lacked controls, and computer system backup data were not stored off-site.

Our Recommendations

We recommend the SSA Acting Regional Commissioner:

  1. Instruct the UT-DDS to refund $6,280 in duplicate payments and establish procedures to prevent future duplicate payments.

  2. Determine whether it was necessary for the UT-DDS to exceed the highest allowable fee to obtain lumbar spine x-rays.

  3. Remind the UT-DDS to follow its established policy for incentive payments.

  4. Instruct the UT-DDS to review the Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, sanction listing.

  5. Instruct the UT-DDS to work with its parent agency to ensure the SSA-purchased computer equipment is tracked with an inventory system that complies with the policies of SSA

  6. Work with the UT-DDS to ensure (a) a security plan meeting SSA requirements is completed timely and (b) the DRP is tested timely.

  7. Instruct the UT-DDS to maintain a log of all spare office keys.

  8. Work with the UT-DDS to determine whether it is feasible to encrypt or password protect the back-up tapes for off-site storage.