Changes in the amount of wages an SSI recipient or others in the household receive may affect the recipient’s payment or eligibility. SSI recipients must report their own wages and the wages of others in the household whose incomes we consider in determining the SSI payments.
Examples of our corrective actions to address the root causes of wage-related errors include options for recipients (or representative payees on their behalf) or their deemors to self-report wages via telephone or a smartphone application. Since October 2013, recipients, representative payees, and deemors can use those automated reporting tools to report the preceeding month’s wages at any time during the current month.
SSI Telephone Wage Reporting System (SSITWR)
In FY 2008, we implemented SSITWR, which allows recipients, representative payees, and deemors to report the prior monthly gross wages via an automated telephone system. SSITWR ensures we post the wage amounts to the individual’s record timely from the date we received the reported wages.
SSI Mobile Wage Reporting Smartphone Application
Beginning in December 2012, 50 field offices across all 10 regions began a pilot project for mobile wage reporting. This initiative allowed certain SSI recipients, representative payees, and deemors to use their smart devices (e.g., smartphone) to report the prior month’s gross wages, using an application they can download at no cost from the Google Play and Apple App stores. The initial pilot was successful, and we expanded it to nearly 270 participating field offices in March 2013. The expanded phase of the pilot was successful as well, with more than 9,000 wage reports submitted using the mobile application during the entire pilot. We rolled out the initiative nationally on August 1, 2013, following the release of some minor system improvements made as the result of feedback received during the pilot.
In September 2013, we implemented an automated SSI wage reporting reminder. Individuals can voluntarily sign up to receive a monthly email or text message reminder to report wages for the prior month.
In September 2017, we released the myWR online application, which allows DI beneficiaries and representative payees to report wages to us and provides a receipt for the report that the reporter can view, print, and save. DI self-reporters and their representative payees can report wages that occurred within a two-year timeframe from the reporting date. In June 2018, we added functionality to myWR that allows SSI and concurrent (SSI and DI) wage reporting. SSI recipients, their representative payees, and deemors have a convenient option to report the preceding month’s wages electronically. Wage receipts generated by myWR are stored in the Online Retrieval System, which provides online retrieval of our notices and other documents. In an effort to increase use of the myWR application, we will continue to promote the online service to beneficiaries, representative payees, and advocacy groups.
We continue to increase the number of successful wage reports received using our automated SSI wage reporting systems. In FY 2018, we processed 350,000 Telephone Wage reports, which is a decrease of 12 percent compared to the number in FY 2017. Additionally, in FY 2018, we processed over 856,000 successful SSI Mobile Wage reports, which is an increase of 24 percent over the number in FY 2017.