Date of Conferral







Joseph Barbeau


Management of Social Security Administration (SSA) has been challenged by the phenomena of overpayments with its Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. Oversight authorities of SSA had expressed concerns about the overpayment abuse caused by parents as representative payees for disabled minor children. It was important to address this problem because the amount of overpayments prior to 1998 had caused integrity issues for management of SSA and increased federal debt from SSI claimants. The purpose of this study was to examine how management of SSA and the SSI program had responded to the concerns of the oversight authorities. Theoretical foundations for this study were based on systems concepts and theories as basic rationale for the examination of feedback from systems operation and for organizational learning about the phenomena of overpayments. This study employed a case study methodology using an approach that examined the SSI program and its operational procedures. The questions for this study involved inquiries into processes and procedures that were developed for improving payment accuracy of SSI claims. Data analysis was performed by comparing the change in overpayment amounts to the implementation of different technological and operational procedures for the SSI program over time using time series analysis. The results of this study suggested that technology that allows sharing communications between federal and state governmental organizations improved overpayment detection and collection for the SSI program. This sharing provided positive social change that could have implications for improved operational efficiency in many other social service programs in the United States.