SSA ORGANIZATIONAL MANUAL
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
The Social Security Administration is the Nation's primary income security Agency. It administers the Federal retirement, survivors and disability insurance programs, as well as the program of supplemental security income (SSI) for the aged, blind and disabled, and performs certain functions with respect to the black lung benefits program. SSA also directs the aid to the aged, blind and disabled in Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
The Social Security Administration, under the supervision and direction of the Commissioner of Social Security (the Commissioner), includes:
- The Office of the Commissioner of Social Security (SA).
- The Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Budget, Finance and Management (S1).
- The Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Operations (S2).
- The Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Systems (S4).
- The Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Human Resources (S7).
- The Office of the SSA Inspector General (S8).
- The Office of the SSA General Counsel (S9).
- The Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Legislative and Regulatory Affairs (TB).
- The Office of the Actuary (TC).
- The Office of Communications (TE).
- The Office of Quality Performance (TK).
- The Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (TL).
- The Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Retirement and Disability Policy(TM).
- Order of Succession
The Social Security Administration performs all functions necessary to accomplish the Agency's mission. These are specified in more detail in the sections which follow.
- Deputy Commissioner
- In accordance with Section 702(b)(1) and (b)(4) of the Social Security Act [codified at 42 U.S.C. 902], there shall be in the Administration a Deputy Commissioner of Social Security. The Deputy Commissioner shall be Acting Commissioner of the Administration during the absence or disability of the Commissioner and, unless the President designates another officer of the Government as Acting Commissioner, in the event of a vacancy in the office of the Commissioner.
- In the event that both the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner become unable to perform the functions and duties of the office of the Commissioner, the Order of Succession set forth in the President's Memorandum, dated October 17, 2008, and entitled "Designation of Officers of the Social Security Administration" shall be followed. In pertinent part, the President's Memorandum provides:
"Section 1. Order of Succession.
During any period when both the Commissioner of Social Security (Commissioner) and the Deputy Commissioner (Deputy Commissioner) have died, resigned, or otherwise become unable to perform the functions and duties of the Office of Commissioner, the following officers of the Social Security Administration, in the order listed, shall perform the functions and duties of the Office of Commissioner, if they are eligible to act as Commissioner under the provisions of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, until such time as the Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner is able to perform the functions and duties of the Office of Commissioner:
Chief of Staff;
Deputy Commissioner for Operations;
Deputy Commissioner for Budget, Finance and Management;
Deputy Commissioner for Systems;
Deputy Commissioner for Quality Performance;
Regional Commissioner, Atlanta; and
Regional Commissioner, Dallas.
Section 2. Exceptions.
(a) No individual who is serving in an office listed in section 1 in an acting capacity, by virtue of so serving, shall act as Commissioner pursuant to this memorandum.
(b) Notwithstanding the provision of this memorandum, the President retains discretion, to the extent permitted by the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, 5 U.S.C. 3345 et. seq., to depart from this memorandum in designating an acting Commissioner."
- Associate Commissioner
- Where an Associate Commissioner has two deputies, one of the deputies shall be designated by the Associate Commissioner to serve as Acting Associate Commissioner during his/her absence. In the event of a disability of the Associate Commissioner, the Commissioner shall designate one of the Deputy Associate Commissioners to serve as Acting Associate Commissioner.
- In the event of the absence of both an Associate Commissioner and his/her Deputy or deputies, an executive designated by the Associate Commissioner shall serve as Acting Associate Commissioner.
- Should an Associate Commissioner or his/her Deputy Associate Commissioner become disabled, an SSA official designated by the Commissioner shall serve as Acting Associate Commissioner.
- Regional and Deputy Regional Commissioner
- During the absence or disability of a Regional Commissioner, the Deputy Regional Commissioner shall serve as Acting Regional Commissioner.
- In the event of the absence of both a Regional Commissioner and his/her Deputy, an SSA regional office official designated by the particular Regional Commissioner shall serve as Acting Regional Commissioner.
- Should both the Regional Commissioner and Deputy Regional Commissioner become disabled, an SSA official designated by the Commissioner shall serve as Acting Regional Commissioner.
- Deputy Commissioner
SSA ORGANIZATIONAL MANUAL
OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONER
The Office of the Commissioner (OC) is directly responsible for all programs administered by SSA; for State-administered programs directed by SSA; and for certain functions with respect to the black lung benefits program. It provides executive leadership to SSA. The Office is responsible for development of policy, administrative and program direction, program interpretation and evaluation, maintenance of relations with news media, research oriented to the study of the problems of economic insecurity in American society; and development of recommendations on methods of advancing social and economic security through social insurance and related programs.
- The Commissioner of Social Security (SA).
- The Deputy Commissioner of Social Security (SA).
- Immediate Office of the Commissioner (SA).
- The Office of the Chief of Staff (SAN).
- The Office of Executive Operations (SAR).
- The Office of the Senior Executive Officer (SAU).
- The Office of International Programs (SAW).
- The Commissioner of Social Security (SA) and Deputy Commissioner of Social Security provide executive leadership to SSA and exercise general supervision over its major components.
- The Deputy Commissioner of Social Security (SA) assists the Commissioner in carrying out his/her responsibilities and performs other duties as the Commissioner may prescribe.
- The Immediate Office of the Commissioner (SA), provides the Commissioner and the Deputy Commissioner of Social Security with staff assistance on the full range of responsibilities.
- The Chief of Staff (SAN) provide day-to-day support to the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner in matters relating to program policy, administration, communications and external liaison.
- The Office of Executive Operations (SAR)
- Coordinates priority matters requiring the attention of, or decision by, the Commissioner and directs the tracking and monitoring of actions assigned by the Commissioner to all Agency components.
- Coordinates and provides liaison for internal communication and correspondence control for OC.
- Monitors administrative and program policy development and policy implementation activities, and prepares periodic status reports.
- Ensures that issues requiring the Commissioner’s attention are developed timely and coordinated with SSA and other Federal agencies having an interest in the matter; designs and implements procedures for proper coordination and follows through on specific issues.
- Expedites regulation development, review, clearance, publication and issuance. Oversees the management of the final stages of regulations development and clearance prior to submittal to the Commissioner.
- Communicates the objectives, priorities and standards of the OC to individuals involved in the preparation of correspondence and memoranda, and ensures that communications signed or approved by OC are consistent with these standards and objectives.
- Reviews and analyzes memoranda and other communications directed to OC for adequacy of coordination and clearances, clearness and conciseness of presentation, timeliness, necessary follow through and other elements of completed staff work.
- Works with functional components and staff offices to improve the quality of decision papers and correspondence.
- The Office of the Senior Executive Officer (SAU)
- Under the guidance of the Senior Executive Officer provides oversight and direction to the ongoing operation and activities of the Office of the Commissioner.
- Plans, manages, and coordinates special projects/initiatives involving Agency administrative, policy, or program issues.
- Serves as a focal point and represents the interests of the Commissioner to ensure that Agency components are aware of and held accountable for priorities, initiatives, and required actions. Acts as a catalyst and conduit for the exchange of information and direction between the Commissioner, functional Deputy Commissioners, and other executives.
- Advises the Commissioner on issues concerning Agency operation, program integration, staffing/personnel matters, organizational effectiveness, and cooperation.
- Directs administrative operations for the Office of the Commissioner including the budget, personnel management, and the development of policies and procedures necessary to secure a correctly and efficiently manages office.
- Provides oversight and perspective on Agency-wide administrative and programmatic funding.
- The Office of International Programs (SAW)
- 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.
- 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.
- It develops and implements policies and procedures relating to the operation of the Social Security program outside the United States.
- 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.