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Roundtable: Reexamining Long-Standing SSI Dedicated Account Challenges 

November 6, 2020

Thursday, November 19, 2020

 

SUMMARY: On Thursday, November 19, the Social Security Advisory Board held a virtual roundtable building on its 2019 statement on SSI dedicated accounts. The roundtable examined the purpose, oversight, administration, and impact of dedicated accounts on recipients, their representative payees, and the Social Security Administration. It also explored potential solutions to address long-standing and contemporary challenges associated with these accounts.

The roundtable was held virtually on Zoom from 1 – 4:30 pm with live closed captioning

Key Documents

 

 

Agenda

November 19, 2020, 1 :00– 4:30 pm 

1:00 pm Opening Remarks

1:10 pm Legislative Purpose and Oversight of Dedicated Accounts

During this session, Professor Mary E. O’Connell (Northeastern University School of Law) will give a presentation on the legislative history of dedicated accounts and their challenges as outlined in her law review article, Supplemental Security Income’s ‘Dedicated Account’: A Debunked Urban Legend and Twenty Years of Waste. Then, James J. Klein (Office of Inspector General, SSA) will give a presentation on the Office of Inspector General’s audit and oversight work on dedicated accounts,  including its 2019 report “Dedicated Account Underpayments Payable to Children Receiving Supplemental Security Income.

2:30 pm Break

2:45 pm Addressing Old and New Dedicated Account Challenges

During this session, a parent representative payee of a child with a dedicated account will share their experience managing a dedicated account on behalf of their child. Representatives from the National Council of Social Security Management Associations will provide an overview of the workloads the field office handles related to dedicated accounts. Finally, panel members will discuss pre- and post-COVID-19 challenges of administering and managing dedicated accounts and share ideas on different approaches to resolving these long-standing and contemporary challenges.

4:15 pm Closing Remarks

Scheduled Roundtable Participants

Moderators:
Kim Hildred, Chair, Social Security Advisory Board
Nancy J. Altman, Member, Social Security Advisory Board

Speakers:
James J. Klein, San Francisco Audit Division Director, Office of the Inspector General, Social Security Administration
David Lescarini, President, National Council of Social Security Management Associations; District Manager, McMinnville, Tennessee Field Office, Social Security Administration
Mary O’Connell, Professor Emerita, Northeastern University School of Law (retired)
Parent representative payee of a child with a dedicated account

Panelists:
Jo Anne Barnhart, former Commissioner of Social Security (retired)
Gregory Brusik, Vice President, National Council of Social Security Management Associations; District Manager, Bellingham, Washington Field Office, Social Security Administration
Taramattie Doucette, Project Director, Children’s Disability Project, Greater Boston Legal Services
Rachel Emmons, Washington Representative, National Council of Social Security Management Associations
Linda Landry, Senior Attorney, Disability Law Center – Massachusetts Protection and Advocacy
David Lescarini, President, National Council of Social Security Management Associations; District Manager, McMinnville, Tennessee Field Office, Social Security Administration
Mary O’Connell, Professor Emerita, Northeastern University School of Law (retired)
Parent representative payee of a child with a dedicated account

 

Previous Board Work

2019 Social Security Advisory Board Statement on the Supplemental Security Income Program 

The 2019 statement, included in SSA’s 2019 annual report to the President and Congress on the SSI program, outlines the complexity of dedicated accounts for children with the accounts, their payees, and SSA. It also provides an overview of the legislative history and rationale for the accounts, lack of empirical data on the accounts, and past bipartisan calls for their elimination. The statement notes the Board’s intention to further explore the issue. Read more