SSA ORGANIZATIONAL MANUAL

Chapter TM

OFFICE OF RETIREMENT AND DISABILITY POLICY


  1. Mission

    The Deputy Commissioner, Retirement and Disability Policy (ORDP) is the principal advisor to the Commissioner of Social Security on major policy issues and is responsible for all major activities in the areas of strategic and program policy planning, policy research and evaluation, statistical programs, and overall policy development, analysis and implementation. The Office of the Deputy Commissioner, RDP serves as the Agency lead spokesperson in presenting policy proposals and analysis within and outside the Executive Branch. The Office directs and manages the planning, development, issuance, and evaluation of operational policies, standards, and instructions for the Retirement and Survivors Insurance, Disability Insurance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, and other SSA programs. The Office assists in achievement of consistency in program policy across programs administered by SSA. The Office is involved in analyses of legislative and regulatory specifications and budgetary impacts of legislation on programs administered by SSA. The Office produces, presents, supports, and publishes OASDI and SSI program data, statistics, research, analyses, and reports that detail trends and effects of the programs on recipients and potential recipients. It explains impacts of reform proposal options to enhance program provisions or solvency. The Office develops and evaluates demonstrations and studies that support the policy development of SSA. The Office works with the Department of Treasury on issues of policy relating to the Federal Insurance Contributions Act and the Self-Employment Contributions Act, including such matters as definition of wages and implementation of laws. It manages a nationwide network of medical, psychological, and vocational experts who assist Administrative Law Judges (ALJs), the Decision Review Board (DRB), State Disability Determination Services(DDS) and the Office of Quality Performance(OQP) in making disability determinations and decisions. It directs formulation of Agency policy regarding related government programs that affect SSA programs and/or operations and negotiates related agreements with other agencies. It evaluates the effectiveness of national policies in meeting both short and long-term program goals. It provides executive level, enterprise wide oversight of all data exchanges (programmatic and non-programmatic), develops and approves policies and strategies for the agency’s unified data exchange business process, and serves as the Co-Chair of the Data Integrity Board (DIB) Executive Steering Committee. It serves as SSA's focal point for international program policy matters and for its participation in the international Social Security community. The Office negotiates international “totalization” agreements with foreign governments.
  2. Organization
    1. The Deputy Commissioner, Retirement and Disability Policy (TMA)
    2. The Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Retirement and Disability Policy (TMA)
    3. The Immediate Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Retirement and Disability Policy (TMA)
      1. Resource Management Staff (TMA-1)
    4. The Office of Income Security Programs (TMB)
    5. The Office of Research, Demonstration, and Employment Support (TMS)
    6. The Office of Research, Evaluation and Statistics (TMK)
    7. The Office of Retirement Policy (TMM)
    8. The Office of Data Exchange and Policy Publications (TMP)
    9. The Office of International Programs (TMQ)
    10. The Office of Disability Policy (TMR)
  3. Functions
    1. The Deputy Commissioner, Retirement and Disability Policy (TMA) is directly responsible to the Commissioner for carrying out the ODCRDP mission and for providing general supervision to the major components of ODCRDP.
    2. The Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Retirement and Disability Policy (TMA) assists the Deputy Commissioner in carrying out his/her responsibilities and performs other duties as the Deputy Commissioner may prescribe.
    3. The Immediate Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Retirement and Disability Policy (TMA) provides the Deputy Commissioner with staff assistance on the full range of his/her responsibilities. Provides expert advice and support to the Deputy Commissioner and Assistant Deputy Commissioner on Agency-level projects and initiatives that affect the Agency’s policymaking processes.
      1. The Resource Management Staff (RMS) is the focal point for the development of the Deputy Commissioner's final responses to requests for information and action to address any administrative or personnel subject or correspondence.
    4. The Office of Income Security Programs (TMB) provides SSA-wide leadership and direction to the development, coordination and promulgation of Retirement and Survivors Insurance (RSI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) policies and procedures. It develops, coordinates, evaluates and issues the policies, standards and instructions for the RSI and SSI programs. The Office develops agreements with the States and other agencies that govern State supplementation programs, food stamps, and fiscal reporting processes. The Office of Income Security Programs is responsible for all aspects of SSA’s policy process and the migration of RSI and SSI program services to the Internet.
    5. E. The Office of Research, Demonstration, and Employment Support (TMS) provides broad program analysis and development in support of the Disability and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs and directs studies of program policy related to the development and evaluation of disability and SSI program initiatives and legislative and policy proposals. The Office plans, develops, evaluates, issues and administers operational policies that implement provisions in the Social Security Act and related statutes promoting or otherwise facilitating the employment of Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income Program beneficiaries with disabilities. Plans and directs a program to assess and evaluate beneficiary needs in the areas of rehabilitation and employment support. Provides operational advice, technical support and direction to central office, regional office and field components in the administration of employment support programs and policies. Implements legislation and analyzes the effects of policy and regulatory changes to determine the operational impact on employment support programs. Provides assistance in educating the public about disability program work incentives, rehabilitation, other forms of employment support and proposed program changes. Establishes and maintains relationships with parties interested in the employment of persons with disabilities. Engages in broad-based efforts in partnership with other public and private entities to remove employment obstacles encountered by disability program beneficiaries. Promotes process innovation and cooperation among its partners and stakeholders. The Office maintains awareness of issues concerning the broad program policy environment including Congress, the private sector and other government agencies, and ensures the Agency’s policy and research agendas consider and reflect these points of view. Identifies trends in the SSI and the disability programs and compiles and analyzes data on various aspects of those programs. Designs, implements and evaluates demonstration projects to target special populations and program issues. Researches and develops occupational information tailored for the Agency’s disability programs; conducts studies and program analyses in light of the occupational information gathered. Formulates Agency policy regarding crosscutting programs or issues related to disability and/or income assistance programs and works with other agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services, towards this end..
    6. The Office of Research, Evaluation and Statistics (TMK) is a principal statistical unit of the U.S. federal government and is responsible for developing and conducting SSA's research and statistical programs regarding the Social Security retirement and disability programs and the Supplemental Security income program. This Office conducts broad analyses of major social and economic trends and their impact on Social Security and income assistance program policy. Topics of research include evaluation of income security, the effects of Social Security and income assistance programs on the economy, and the financing, and the adequacy of cash benefits. This Office plans and directs studies to evaluate the effects of proposed policy changes on individuals, the economy, SSA programs and the interactions among these programs, other tax and income-transfer programs, and economic, social and demographic forces. Short and long-term research on the disabled population, work incentives, assessment tools, and impact of current and emerging medical technologies on SSA disability financing and income assistance programs are conducted by the Agency under the oversight of this Office. This Office is also responsible for designing, implementing and assessing the results of models that analyze the impact of present programs, program alternatives, and proposed changes in policy. This Office establishes linkages of SSA data with data from other statistical and record systems and prepares and manages administrative data systems to support research and analysis. It produces for public consumption a wide range of statistics on SSA programs and beneficiaries as well as earnings among workers in the economy.
    7. The Office of Retirement Policy (TMM) provides policy analysis and policy development in retirement and survivors insurance programs. This Office is responsible for the development of social insurance, financing and economic policy for the Agency. Conducts broad analyses of major social and economic trends and their impact on social insurance policies.
    8. The Office of Data Exchange and Policy Publications (TMP) provides executive level, enterprise wide oversight of data exchanges (programmatic and non-programmatic). Develops and approves policies and strategies for the agency’s unified data exchange business process. Serves as the agency point of contact for data exchange proposals from external entities. Ensures that data exchange activities align with agency priorities, statutory requirements, and resources. Acts as the Co-Chair of the Data Integrity Board (DIB) Executive Steering Committee (ESC). Conducts research and analysis to identify areas and opportunities for continuous improvement. Provides broad strategic planning and vision for SSA’s data exchange program. Provides expert advice and support to the Deputy Commissioner and Assistant Deputy Commissioner on the technology that supports Agency-level projects and initiatives that impact the Agency’s policymaking processes. It provides user support to all its ORDP components. It directs all systems activities supporting the Agency’s electronic programmatic instructional system.
    9. The Office of International Programs (TMQ) serves as SSA's focal point for international program policy matters and for its participation in the international Social Security community. Negotiates international “totalization” agreements with foreign governments. These agreements promote foreign business investment. Formulates policies that determine how the SSA program operates in the foreign arena. Develops the policies that determine how our program operates worldwide. Processes citizens’ requests for Certificates of Coverage. Represents our agency and our country at meetings of international social security organizations and in meetings with our counterparts at other Federal agencies. Represents the views of the United States at meetings of international and social security organizations.
    10. The Office Disability Policy (TMR) plans, develops, evaluates and issues substantive regulations, policies and procedures for the SSA administered disability programs. Provides expert advice and supports SSA’s disability determinations process. Develops and promulgates policies and guidelines for use by State, Federal or private contractor providers that implement the disability provisions of the Social Security Act, as amended. Evaluates the effects of proposed legislation and legislation pending before Congress to determine the impact on the disability programs and ensures that interrelated policy areas are coordinated. Provides medical reviews by medical consultant contractors for State Disability Determination Services, Federal disability adjudicators, the Office of International Operations, and the Federal quality review process

SSA ORGANIZATION MANUAL

Subchapter TMB

OFFICE OF INCOME SECURITY PROGRAMS

  1. Mission

    The Office of Income Security Programs provides SSA-wide leadership and direction to the development, coordination and promulgation of Retirement and Survivors Insurance (RSI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) policies and procedures. Develops agreements with the States and other agencies that govern State supplementation programs, food stamps, and fiscal reporting processes. Is responsible for all aspects of SSA’s policy process, notice management and improvement, and the migration of RSI and SSI program services to the Internet.
  2. Organization
    1. The Associate Commissioner for Income Security Programs (TMB).
    2. The Deputy Associate Commissioner for Income Security Programs (TMB).
    3. The Immediate Office of the Associate Commissioner for Income Security Programs (TMB).
    4. The Office of Earnings and Program Integrity Policy (TMBA).
    5. The Office of Payment & Claimant Representation Policy (TMBB).
    6. The Office of Enumeration & Medicare Policy (TMBC).
    7. The Office of SSI and Rep Payee Policy (TMBE).
    8. The Office of Application & Electronic Services Support Policy (TMBG).
  3. Functions
    1. The Associate Commissioner for Income Security Programs (TMB) is directly responsible to the Deputy Commissioner, Retirement and Disability Policy for carrying out OISP’s mission and provides general supervision to the major components of OISP.
    2. The Deputy Associate Commissioner for Income Security Programs (TMB) assists the Associate Commissioner in carrying out his/her responsibilities and performs other duties as the Associate Commissioner may prescribe.
    3. The Immediate Office of the Associate Commissioner for Income Security Programs (TMB) provides the Associate Commissioner and Deputy Associate Commissioner with staff assistance on the full range of their responsibilities and helps coordinate the activities of OISP components. Also serves as the central hub for developing, improving, and strategizing changes to public notices and the systems in which they are generated.
    4. The Office of Earnings & Program Integrity Policy (TMBA).
      1. Plans, develops and evaluates the policies, standards and instructions and provides guidance to field components on issues related to the RSI and/or SSI program(s) in the areas of coverage earnings records and corrections, and payment policy, and provides policy for federal and state government components on State and local coverage and corrections.
      2. Develops and issues guidelines, directives, instructions and procedures for such subject areas as the Coal Act, wages, coverage and exceptions, earnings records and earnings records corrections and discrepancies, self-employment status and income, religious exemptions (including determinations as to whether sects meet legal requirements for exemptions to apply), State and local coverage, statutes of limitations, taxation of Social Security benefits and SSA benefit statements, payment accuracy, reporting, overpayments and underpayments, suspensions and terminations, garnishments, IRS levies, and re-determinations.
    5. The Office of Payment & Claimant Representation Policy (TMBB).
      1. Plans, develops and evaluates the policies, standards and instructions and provides guidance to field components on issues related to the RSI and SSI programs in the areas of payment compliance and representing claimant policy.
      2. Develops and issues guidelines, directives, instructions and procedures for such payment compliance and representing claimant subject areas as change of address, computations, administrative finality, res judicata, due process, appeals, and retirement earnings test.
    6. The Office of Enumeration & Medicare Policy (TMBC).
      1. Plans, develops and evaluates the policies, standards and instructions and provides guidance to field components on issues related to the RSI and SSI programs in the areas of enumeration and Medicare.
      2. Develops and issues guidelines, directives, instructions and procedures for such enumeration and Medicare subject areas as assignment of Social Security numbers (SSN) and issuance of cards, citizenship, liaison with Immigration and Naturalization Services, application for SSNs, Medicare Savings Programs, Rx Drug Outreach, and for inter-program relationships with Medicaid and Medicare.
    7. The Office of SSI & Rep Payee Policy (TMBE).
      1. Plans, develops and evaluates the policies, standards and instructions and provides guidance to field components on issues related to the RSI and SSI programs in the areas of representative payment, deeming, income, resources, in-kind support and maintenance, institutions and living arrangements.
      2. Develops and issues guidelines, directives, instructions and procedures for such representative payment subject areas as (in)capability assessment, investigation and selection of payees, use and conservation of benefits, misuse of benefits, payment for payee services and payee oversight, deeming, income, resources, in-kind support and maintenance, institutions, living arrangements, interim assistance reimbursement, notices and Agency notice improvement activities.
    8. The Office of Application & Electronic Services Support Policy (TMBG)
      1. Plans, develops and evaluates the policies, standards and instructions and provides guidance to field components on issues related to the RSI and SSI programs in the areas of applications and eligibility. Facilitates the migration of RSI and SSI program services to the Internet and to other electronic mediums that enable the public to interact with SSA electronically by developing a foundation for Internet program policy expertise that ensures uniformity and consistency of Internet applications and resources.
      2. Develops and issues guidelines, directives, instructions and procedures for such applications and eligibility policy subject areas as application for benefits, adjudication, evidentiary standards, insured status, qualified aliens, relationships, ready retirement and inter-program relationships with food stamps. Identifies crosscutting program issues when implementing Internet applications and recommends changes to meet both program and client needs. Develops and issues guidelines, directives, instructions, and procedures to field components on Internet and electronic services activities.

SSA ORGANIZATION MANUAL

Subchapter TMS

OFFICE OF RESEARCH, DEMONSTRATION, AND EMPLOYMENT SUPPORT

  1. Mission

    The Office of Research, Demonstration, and Employment Support provides broad program analysis and development in support of the Disability and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs and directs studies of program policy related to the development and evaluation of disability and SSI program initiatives and legislative and policy proposals. The Office plans, develops, evaluates, issues and administers operational policies that implement provisions in the Social Security Act and related statutes promoting or otherwise facilitating the employment of Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income Program beneficiaries with disabilities. Plans and directs a program to assess and evaluate beneficiary needs in the areas of rehabilitation and employment support. Provides operational advice, technical support and direction to central office, regional office and field components in the administration of employment support programs and policies. Implements legislation and analyzes the effects of policy and regulatory changes to determine the operational impact on employment support programs. Provides assistance in educating the public about disability program work incentives, rehabilitation, other forms of employment support and proposed program changes. Establishes and maintains relationships with parties interested in the employment of persons with disabilities. Engages in broad-based efforts in partnership with other public and private entities to remove employment obstacles encountered by disability program beneficiaries. Promotes process innovation and cooperation among its partners and stakeholders.

    The Office maintains awareness of issues concerning the broad program policy environment including Congress, the private sector and other government agencies, and ensures the Agency’s policy and research agendas consider and reflect these points of view. Identifies trends in the SSI and the disability programs and compiles and analyzes data on various aspects of those programs. Designs, implements and evaluates demonstration projects to target special populations and program issues. Researches and develops occupational information tailored for the Agency’s disability programs; conducts studies and program analyses in light of the occupational information gathered. Formulates Agency policy regarding crosscutting programs or issues related to disability and/or income assistance programs and works with other agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services, towards this end .
  2. Organization
    1. The Associate Commissioner for Research, Demonstration, and Employment Support (TMS)
    2. The Deputy Associate Commissioners for Research, Demonstration, and Employment Support (TMS)
    3. The Immediate Office of the Associate Commissioner for Research, Demonstration, and Employment Support (TMS)
    4. The Office of Beneficiary Outreach and Employment Support (TMSG)
    5. The Office of Ticket Operation and Provider Support (TMSH)
    6. The Office of Program Development (TMSA)
    7. The Office of Program Evaluation (TMSB)
    8. The Office of Data Analysis (TMSC)
    9. The Office of Program Research (TMSE)
  3. Functions
    1. The Associate Commissioner for Research, Demonstration, and Employment Support (TM_) is directly responsible to the Deputy Commissioner, Retirement and Disability Policy for carrying out the mission of the office and providing general supervision to its major components.
    2. The Deputy Associate Commissioners for Research, Demonstration, and Employment Support (TM_) assists the Associate Commissioner in carrying out his/her responsibilities and performs other duties as the Associate Commissioner may prescribe.
    3. The Immediate Office of the Associate Commissioner for Research, Demonstration, and Employment Support (TM_) provides the Associate Commissioner and the Deputy Associate Commissioners with advisory services and staff assistance on the full range of their responsibilities and coordinates the administrative and program activities of OESPDR components.
    4. The Office of Beneficiary Outreach and Employment Support (TMSG)
      1. Implements and maintains program policy on DI and SSI work incentives, and related areas, including areas of intercomponent concern such as substantial gainful activity. Drafts regulations and prepares operating policies and related instructional materials.
      2. Develops, in conjunction with the Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Communications, informational materials to increase public understanding and use of work incentives and to support the employment efforts of Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities.
      3. Develops proposals and plans for new work incentives and other policy changes.
      4. Develops specifications and administers grants, cooperative agreements and Federal interagency agreements in support of program and operational activities.
    5. The Office of Ticket Operation and Provider Support (TMSH)
      1. Implements the provisions of the Social Security Act which facilitate access to rehabilitation and other forms of employment support services through the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program.
      2. Evaluates the performance of service providers in the public and private sectors. Certifies payment to service providers and ensures that beneficiary participation in the program is appropriate.
      3. Develops, implements, evaluates and maintains regulations, program operating policies, and instructional and other materials on employment services and service provider operations. Interfaces with the vocational rehabilitation programs administered under the Rehabilitation Act. Develops proposals and plans for new employment support services and other related program changes.
    6. The Office of Program Development (TMSA)
      1. Develops and implements disability and SSI-related demonstration projects including projects that would encourage work and self-sufficiency.
      2. Administers grants, interagency agreements, contracts and unsolicited proposals for ORDP.
      3. Conducts outreach for demonstration projects and other initiatives relevant to program development.
    7. The Office of Program Evaluation (TMSB)
      1. Maintains awareness of issues concerning the broad program policy environment including Congress, the private sector and other government agencies, and ensures the Agency’s policy and research agendas consider and reflect these points of view.
      2. Formulates Agency policy regarding crosscutting programs or issues related to disability and/or income assistance programs and works with other agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services, toward this end.
      3. Conducts analyses of international disability and income assistance programs.
      4. Directs and conducts research and development, including methodological development and testing, data collection, and data analyses, for the Agency’s Occupational Information System (OIS).
    8. The Office of Data Analysis (TMSC)
      1. Identifies trends in disability programs and emerging issues and policy implications.
      2. Compiles and analyzes data on various aspects the disability and SSI programs, including such areas as SSI children, demonstration projects, denied applicants and work incentives.
    9. The Office of Program Research (TMSE)
      1. Identifies and develops potential research projects that will support future policy initiatives.
      2. Reviews current research and determines SSI and disability policy implications.
      3. Conducts studies and analyses on the national disabled population, applicants for benefits, disability beneficiaries, work incentives and disability assessment tools.
      4. Conducts analyses of the interrelationships between SSA’s disability programs, the national economy and other income maintenance programs, as well as various socioeconomic factors

SSA ORGANIZATION MANUAL

Subchapter TMK

OFFICE OF RESEARCH, EVALUATION AND STATISTICS

  1. Mission

    The Office of Research, Evaluation and Statistics is responsible for providing information on the effects on individuals and the economy of programs operated by SSA and the interactions among these programs, other tax and income-transfer programs and economic, social and demographic forces. Plans and directs a continuing program of economic and social research to evaluate the effectiveness of national policies in meeting desired program outcomes. Plans and directs studies and surveys to evaluate the effectiveness of policy development, implementation and program outcomes of the disability, retirement and survivors and supplemental security income programs.
  2. Organization
    1. The Associate Commissioner for Research, Evaluation and Statistics (TMK).
    2. The Deputy Associate Commissioner for Research, Evaluation and Statistics (TMK).
    3. The Immediate Office of the Associate Commissioner for Research, Evaluation and Statistics (TMK).
    4. The Office of Information Resources (TMKA).
    5. The Office of Economic Analysis and Comparative Studies (TMKB).
    6. The Office of Program Evaluation and Modeling (TMKC).
    7. The Office of Data Development (TMKE).
    8. The Office of Statistical Analysis and Support (TMKG).
  3. Functions
    1. The Associate Commissioner for Research, Evaluation, and Statistics (TMK) is directly responsible to the Deputy Commissioner, Retirement and Disability Policy, for carrying out ORES' mission, and providing general supervision to the major components of ORES.
    2. The Deputy Associate Commissioner for Research, Evaluation, and Statistics (TMK) assists the Associate Commissioner in carrying out his/her responsibilities and performs other duties the Associate Commissioner may prescribe.
    3. The Immediate Office of the Associate Commissioner for Research, Evaluation, and Statistics (TMK) provides the Associate Commissioner and Deputy Associate Commissioner with staff assistance on the full range of their responsibilities and helps coordinate the activities of ORES components.
    4. The Office of Information Resources (TMKA).
      1. Organizes, presents, and disseminates research and statistical studies in both printed and electronic forms.
      2. Maintains the Office of Retirement and Disability Policy information resource facilities; i.e., library and website.
    5. The Office of Economic Analysis and Comparative Studies (TMKB).
      1. Plans, directs, and executes research to provide information about relationships between Social Security programs, the national economy, and the federal budget.
      2. Interprets changing demographic and economic trends as they relate to the broad field of economic security and to overall economic and social policy (e.g. savings, employment and earnings).
      3. Conducts research and cross-national data collection on social security programs worldwide.
      4. Monitors public and private-sector programs relating to income security within the United States and other countries.
      5. Analyzes disability and SSI entitlement and their relationship to economic factors and trends.
      6. Participates in the Trustees Working Group and conducts research on the assumptions underlying the Trustees’ projections.
    6. The Office of Program Evaluation and Modeling (TMKC).
      1. Plans, directs, and executes intramural and extramural research and policy evaluation activities centered upon programs, policies, potential policy changes and the impact on current and future beneficiaries and programs costs.
      2. Ensures that SSA's policy evaluation research is technically appropriate, professionally sound, policy relevant, and timely.
      3. Develops and manages extramural research programs with a focus on policy analysis, evaluation, and data development.
      4. Designs, develops, and operates models to analyze the distributional impact of present programs and program alternatives.
      5. Designs, develops, and operates models to analyze interactions between Social Security programs, the rest of the Federal government, and the national economy.
    7. The Office of Data Development (TMKE).
      1. Manages a comprehensive program for the construction of datasets from various sources, including data from SSA administrative records, surveys, and other Federal agencies, to serve data needs of SSA components, other government agencies, as well as public and private researchers.
      2. Plans and executes interagency and reimbursable agreements to facilitate the sharing of data with other government agencies and research organizations.
      3. Develops, disseminates, and coordinates requirements pertaining to the protection and usage of SSA administrative data and survey and administrative data received from external sources.
      4. Negotiates, analyzes, and documents requirements for new administrative data sources for ORES business processes and customers.
    8. The Office of Statistical Analysis and Support (TMKG).
      1. Compiles statistics on, analyzes trends in, and prepares tabulations of earnings covered under the Social Security, as well as OASDI beneficiary and SSA recipient populations, both for publications purposes and for responding to ad hoc requests.
      2. Utilizes broad-scope project management techniques to oversee and administer contracts.  Strategically coordinates with other components to conduct needs analysis and tactically translates requirements to statements of work.
      3. Supports other SSA components with statistical advice and guidance pertaining to the administration of various Social Security programs.
      4. Develops and implements statistical study designs and special research projects.
      5. Administers ORES’ IT platform

SSA ORGANIZATION MANUAL

Subchapter TMM

OFFICE OF RETIREMENT POLICY

  1. Mission

    The Office of Retirement Policy is responsible for conducting comprehensive analysis of Social Security solvency proposals; preparing quick-turnaround analyses on critical issues for the Commissioner, the Principal Deputy Commissioner, the Deputy Commissioner for Retirement and Disability Policy, and other agency officials; producing policy-relevant research in anticipation of projected issues; and leading the new agency-wide program for financial literacy.
  2. Organization
    1. The Associate Commissioner for Retirement Policy (TMM).
    2. The Deputy Associate Commissioner for Retirement Policy (TMM).
    3. The Office of Policy Analysis (TMMA).
    4. The Office of Policy Research (TMMB).
  3. Functions
    1. The Associate Commissioner for Retirement Policy (TMM) is directly responsible to the Deputy Commissioner, Retirement and Disability Policy, for carrying out ORP's mission, and providing general supervision to the major components of ORP.
    2. The Deputy Associate Commissioner for Retirement Policy (TMM) assists the Associate Commissioner in carrying out his/her responsibilities and performs other duties the Associate Commissioner may prescribe.
    3. The Office of Policy Analysis (TMMA)
      1. Plans, directs, and implements policy research and evaluation activities centered upon the impact of Social Security reform proposals.
      2. Develops, implements, and analyzes the results of micro-simulation models utilized to test proposed changes in agency social insurance, financial, and economic policy.
    4. The Office of Policy Research (TMMB)
      1. Conducts a wide variety of policy research and evaluation activities to analyze the impact of social trends on current and future retirement and survivors insurance programs and policies.
      2. Plans and implements a research and development program to produce and test new financial literacy products that are geared toward helping the American public better prepare for retirement.
      3. Negotiates and manages extramural research grants and contracts earmarked for special agency initiatives, such as the Special Initiative to Encourage Saving.

SSA ORGANIZATION MANUAL

Subchapter TMP

OFFICE OF DATA EXCHANGE AND POLICY PUBLICATIONS

  1. Mission

    The Office of Data Exchange and Policy Publications provides executive level, enterprise wide oversight of data exchanges (programmatic and non-programmatic). Develops and approves policies and strategies for the agency’s unified data exchange business process. Serves as the agency point of contact for data exchange proposals from external entities. Ensures that data exchange activities align with agency priorities, statutory requirements, and resources. Acts as the Co-Chair of the Data Integrity Board (DIB) Executive Steering Committee (ESC). Conducts research and analysis to identify areas and opportunities for continuous improvement. Provides broad strategic planning and vision for SSA’s data exchange program. Provides expert advice and support to the Deputy Commissioner and Assistant Deputy Commissioner on the technology that supports Agency-level projects and initiatives that impact the Agency’s policymaking processes. It provides user support to all its ORDP components. It directs all systems activities supporting the Agency’s electronic programmatic instructional system.
  2. Organization
    1. The Associate Commissioner for Data Exchange and Policy Publications (TMP)
    2. The Deputy Associate Commissioner for Data Exchange and Policy Publications (TMP)
    3. The Immediate Office of the Associate Commissioner for Data Exchange and Policy Publications (TMP)
    4. The Office of Data Exchange Programs (TMPB)
    5. The Office of PolicyNet and Program Support (TMPC)
  3. Functions
    1. The Associate Commissioner for Data Exchange and Policy Publications (TMP) is directly responsible to the Deputy Commissioner, Retirement and Disability Policy for carrying out ODEPP’s mission and provides general supervision to the major components of ODEPP.
    2. The Deputy Associate Commissioner for Data Exchange and Policy Publications (TMP) assists the Associate Commissioner in carrying out his/her responsibilities and performs other duties as the Associate Commissioner may prescribe.
    3. The Immediate Office of the Associate Commissioner for Data Exchange and Policy Publications (TMP) provides the Associate Commissioner and Deputy Associate Commissioner with staff assistance on the full range of their responsibilities and helps coordinate the activities of the ODEPP components. This includes coordinating activities involving relations with customers, stakeholders and other parties.
    4. The Office of Data Exchange Programs (TMPB)
      1. Establishes and maintains data exchange and matching policy; e.g., Death Master File, Electronic Death Registration.
      2. Develops and implements an agency-wide data exchange program governance process.
      3. Administers DIB/DIB ESC meetings and reporting requirements.
      4. Maintains and updates POMS as necessary.
      5. Conducts research and analysis to identify areas and opportunities for continuous improvements.
      6. Works with other SSA components to explore legislative proposals that are intended to resolve intergovernmental data exchange issues.
      7. Coordinates and responds to recommendations from Congress, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and other higher level monitoring authorities on data exchange efforts.
      8. Provides broad strategic planning and vision for SSA’s data exchange program.
      9. Implements and maintains a consolidated SSA-wide Data Exchange Workflow and Inventory tool.
      10. Establishes and assigns staff liaisons to data exchange partners including: Federal, State, Local, and domestic private entities.
      11. Sponsors outgoing data exchange agreements and provides support for incoming data exchange requests by components.
      12. Processes new and renewal agreements.
      13. Reviews agreements for adherence to data exchange policy.
    5. The Office of PolicyNet and Program Support (TMPC)
      1. Directs all activities related to the establishment, maintenance and support of technology tools essential to policy makers and researchers ORDP-wide.
      2. Oversees ORDP IT budgeting, contracting systems security, infrastructure and user support activities.
      3. Represents ORDP in contacts with the Office of Systems, the Office of the Chief Information Officer and other internal and external authorities for purposes of negotiations regarding these activities.
      4. Provides end-user and IT infrastructure support to all ORDP policymaking and research components.
      5. Formulates and executes the IT budgeting and contracting program for ORDP.
      6. Oversees the development, execution and management of contracts for IT resources and services as well as writing task orders against those contracts.
      7. Manages the ORDP systems security program.
      8. Directs all activities related to the maintenance and further development of SSA’s production and delivery systems for program policy-related documents (e.g., publication, distribution, indexing, storage and retrieval).
      9. Establishes and oversees agency standards for the development of program instructions (e.g., writing and document formatting standards).
      10. Directs the ongoing evaluation and improvement of SSA’s policy development process and assists authoring components in developing policy documents.
      11. Directs technical research into improved methods for producing and delivering complex policy knowledge effectively to end-users.
      12. Oversees maintenance of SSA’s various policy-related technical documents (including the Compilation of the Social Security Laws and the Social Security Handbook).
      13. Provides expert advice and support to the Deputy Commissioner and Assistant Deputy Commissioner on agency-level projects and initiatives that impact the agency’s policymaking processes and the technology that supports them.

SSA ORGANIZATION MANUAL

Subchapter TMQ

OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS

  1. Mission

    The Office of International Programs (OIP) serves as SSA's focal point for international program policy matters and for its participation in the international Social Security community. Negotiates international “totalization” agreements with foreign governments. These agreements promote foreign business investment. Formulates policies that determine how the SSA program operates in the foreign arena. Develops the policies that determine how our program operates worldwide. Processes citizens’ requests for Certificates of Coverage. Represents our agency and our country at meetings of international social security organizations and in meetings with our counterparts at other Federal agencies. Represents the views of the United States at meetings of international and social security organizations
  2. Organization
    1. The Associate Commissioner for Office of International Programs (TMQ)
    2. The Deputy Associate Commissioner for Office of International Programs (TMQ)
    3. The Immediate Office of the Associate Commissioner for Office of International Programs (TMQ)
  3. Functions
    1. The Associate Commissioner for Office of International Programs (TMQ) is directly responsible to the Deputy Commissioner, Retirement and Disability Policy for carrying out OIP’s mission and provides general supervision to the major components of OIP.
    2. The Deputy Associate Commissioner for Office of International Programs (TMQ) assists the Associate Commissioner in carrying out his/her responsibilities and performs other duties as the Associate Commissioner may prescribe.
    3. The Immediate Office of the Associate Commissioner for Office of International Programs (TMQ) provides the Associate Commissioner and Deputy Associate Commissioner with staff assistance on the full range of their responsibilities and helps coordinate the activities of the OIP components. This includes coordinating activities involving relations with customers, stakeholders and other parties.
    4. The Office of International Programs (TMQ)
      1. Under the guidance of the Director, the office of International Programs (OIP) serves as SSA's focal point for international program policy matters and for its participation in the international Social Security community.
      2. OIP serves as liaison to international agencies and associations that deal with Social Security matters. The staff negotiates international Social Security (totalization) agreements with foreign governments and develops policies and procedures to implement the agreements.
      3. It develops and implements policies and procedures relating to the operation of the Social Security program outside the United States.
      4. The Office provides training programs and technical consultation on Social Security and related fields to Social Security officials and other experts outside the United States.

SSA ORGANIZATIONAL MANUAL

SUBCHAPTER (TMR)

OFFICE OF DISABILITY POLICY

  1. Mission The Office Disability Policy (TMR) plans, develops, evaluates and issues substantive regulations, policies and procedures for the SSA administered disability programs. Provides expert advice and supports SSA’s disability determinations process. Develops and promulgates policies and guidelines for use by State, Federal or private contractor providers that implement the disability provisions of the Social Security Act, as amended. Evaluates the effects of proposed legislation and legislation pending before Congress to determine the impact on the disability programs and ensures that interrelated policy areas are coordinated. Provides medical reviews by SSA medical officers and medical consultant contractors for State Disability Determination Services, Federal disability adjudicators, the Office of International Operations, and the Federal quality review process.
  2. Organization
    1. The Associate Commissioner for Disability Policy (TMR).
    2. The Deputy Associate Commissioner for Disability Policy (TMR)
    3. The Immediate Office of the Associate Commissioner for Disability Policy (TMR)
    4. The Office of Medical Policy (TMRA )
    5. The Office of Vocational, Evaluation and Process Policy (TMRB)
    6. The Office of Policy Consultation and Analysis (TMRC)
    7. The Office of Health IT and Electronic Policy (TMRE )
    8. The Office of Disability Policy Management Information (TMRG)
    9. The Office Medical Assistance (TMTH)
  3. Functions
    1. The Associate Commissioner for Disability Policy (TMR) is directly responsible to the Deputy Commissioner, Retirement, and Disability Policy for carrying out its mission and providing general supervision to its major components.
    2. The Deputy Associate Commissioner for Disability Policy (TMR) assists the Associate Commissioner in carrying out his/her responsibilities and performs other duties as the Associate Commissioner may prescribe.
    3. The Immediate Office of the Associate Commissioner for Disability Policy (TMR) provides the Associate Commissioner with advisory services and staff assistance on the full range of their responsibilities and coordinates the administrative and program activities of ODP components. The Training and Policy Support Staff provides the Disability Policy staff with the advisory services, assistance on the full range of their responsibilities and coordinates the administrative and program activities of ODP components. Other duties includes:
      1. SITAR Support
      2. Staff Development
      3. Planning
      4. Program Support
      5. Administrative Assistance
      6. Controls and Audits Oversight
      7. Research Initiatives
      8. Manages the Continuing Medical Education (CME) Initiative
    4. The Office of Medical Policy (TMRA)
      1. Develops, writes, and maintains medical and childhood disability policies and procedures for Social Security’s disability programs.
      2. Develops and writes Listing of Impairments regulations, rulings, and procedures for adults and children.
      3. Develops and writes policies and procedures regarding continuing disability reviews for adults and children.
      4. Develops and writes policies and procedures regarding compassionate allowances.
      5. Provides policy and procedural guidance about medical and childhood disability policies, including the medical listings, continuing disability reviews, and compassionate allowances, for all Social Security disability claims adjudicators.
      6. Provides medical and childhood disability policy consultation and guidance to OGC on court cases and class action lawsuits.
      7. Provides oversight of medical and childhood disability policy contracts, grants, and interagency agreements, such as contracts with the Institute of Medicine.
      8. Develops and provides training on medical and childhood disability policies and procedures, including the medical listings, continuing disability reviews, and compassionate allowances, for all Social Security disability claims adjudicators.
      9. Coordinates outreach with advocates, the public, and congress about medical and childhood disability policies and procedures, including the medical listings, continuing disability reviews, and compassionate allowances.
    5. The Office of Vocational, Evaluation and Process Policy (TMRB)
      1. Develops broad vocational and non-medical concepts and policies for the administration of the Title II and Title XVI disability programs
      2. Develops, evaluates, implements, and maintains disability program policy for all vocational and other non-medical issues, both adult, including age, education, work experience, vocational rules, vocational data, and reference materials (e.g. Dictionary of Occupational Titles), work evaluations, disability onset, duration, disability standards, credibility, claimant responsibility, evidence development and evaluation, acceptable medical sources, medical source opinions, residual functional capacity, and disability evaluation forms to be used at all adjudicative levels.
      3. Develops and maintains non-medical Title II and Title XVI disability policies and procedures unique to the disability program (e.g., notice policy, appeals policy, deferred development, disclosure of medical records, failure to cooperate, medical diaries, technical denials, and fraud and similar fault).
      4. Develops and implements policy and procedures for the oversight of consultative examinations, administrative appeals, and, litigation
      5. Develops, maintains, and updates disability training materials for all adjudicators including basic training packages, Interactive Video Training, and web-based training.
      6. Coordinates the agency’s activities for expediting disability claims.
    6. The Office of Policy Consultation and Analysis (TMRC)
      1. Through the Request for Program Consultation (RPC) process, addresses and resolves policy disagreements that arise during the federal quality reviews process and provides policy guidance to state and federal Disability Determining Offices (DDO).
      2. Provides qualitative and quantitative analysis based on RPC findings.
      3. Identifies policies and procedures that require revision or clarification; refers medical, vocational, and disability policy and procedural issues to the applicable policy office; and issues clarification and resolution of policy application disagreements submitted through the RPC process.
      4. Identifies areas of policy misapplication that require additional guidance or training of disability adjudicators and quality reviewers, and conveys guidance and training needs to appropriate offices.
      5. Conducts disability studies to determine the cost benefit of proposed policy revisions to the disability program.
      6. Conducts post-effectuation case reviews and investigative probes using various SSA data sources, including PFS and RPC, to gather information that supports the development and consistent application of medical, vocational, and disability policies.
    7. The Office of Health IT and Electronic Policy (TMRE)
      1. Develops policy-compliant electronic disability applications and tools used in the processing and adjudication of Social Security disability claims.
      2. Plans and develops national policies and procedures to address programmatic needs in support of policy and process improvements in electronic disability case processing applications and tools.
      3. Serves as the link between policy components and the front-line user of electronic disability applications and tools.
      4. Serves in an advisory capacity to other components on all policy-driven aspects of electronic disability applications, including the Disability Case Processing System (DCPS).
      5. Has the ORDP lead for SSA’s Health Information Technology initiatives, including monitoring information technology developments in the health care industry as well as the healthcare industry’s implementation of standards for transmitting electronic medical records; developing methods of analyzing industry standards code-sets for capturing clinical information and relating them to SSA listings for medical impairments; and participating in the health IT standards community to influence national policies and standards.
      6. Oversees and coordinates the functions of the Electronic Records Express Website considering the needs of the various user components.
      7. Maintains and updates electronic policies and procedures for electronic case processing, developing policy compliant Electronic Folder (EF) requirements to incorporate processing of all types of disability claims.
      8. Participants in the development, implementation and enhancement of software applications that support EF processing to ensure policy compliance, support of the administration of Title II and Title XVI disability programs, and legal defensibility.
      9. Coordinates the internet Disability Report process to ensure internet forms are consistent with disability policy.
      10. Coordinates national training on EF policy.
      11. Ensures that the EF interfaces and supports national disability policy.
      12. Supports the development of a consistent electronic policy across all levels of adjudication.
    8. The Office of Disability Policy Management Information (TMRG)
      1. Extracts programmatic management information (MI), analyzes MI from programmatic perspective and generates reports.
      2. Tracks the impact of existing or revised disability policies.
      3. Analyzes programmatic data across all adjudicative levels (DDS, ODAR).
      4. Manages electronic tools providing access to disability data and management information reporting including the Policy Feedback System (PFS); the Performance Management Review System (PMR); data for the Request for Consultation process (RPC); and the reporting system for the Disability Research File (DRF-RS).
      5. Develops the Disability Research File (DRF), a longitudinal disability research database for researchers and actuaries.
      6. Participates in “studies” for disability program/policy evaluation.
      7. Prepares program data to support COSS level initiatives.
    9. The Office of Medical Assistance (TMRH)
      1. Provides oversight of Medical Consultant Contractors (MCC) and SSA Medical Officers (MO) and handles Blanket Purchase Agreement issues including qualifications and suitability of medical consultants.
      2. Provide MCC and MO support for the development and revision of medical policy (e.g., the medical listings, CAL conditions).
      3. Provides medical reviews by SSA MOs and medical consultant contractors for State Disability Determination Services, Federal disability adjudicators, the Office of International Operations, and the Federal quality review process.
      4. Develops medical VODs and other policy guidance that support medical policy compliance and consistent policy application; and complies with CME accreditation requirements.