August 23rd, 2014
In 2008, the Social Security Administration began the process of replacing its outdated computer systems. The system that was in place was unable to handle the sharp increase of disability claims that were being filed. It was projected that it would take two to three years for the new system to be in place.
Today, six years and $300 million later, the new computer system is still not even close to being ready. And according to a new independent analysis, it will take at least another three years before the project will be complete.
The system is called the Disability Case Processing System (DCPS), one computer system that would do the work and replace the 54 other computer systems that are currently used by the agency to process claims.
The report, prepared by management consulting company McKinsey and Co., says the whole process has been besieged by mismanagement and poor execution.
At this point, the project is still in the designing and testing phase, as the waiting time for people waiting for their claims to be processes continues to grow. It can currently take over one year in some states for a claim to be processed.
The report found several issues that have caused the delays in implementing the new system. One of the major problems was that there was never anyone appointed to be in charge of the project. Therefore, there was no one overseeing a completion date.
Several members of Congress are requiring an investigation and have demanded that the acting director of the Social Security Administration turn over all documents and any communications pertaining to the project from the last six months. Top agency officials had decided to withhold the report until after Congressional confirmation hearings to permanently appoint the director were held within the next few weeks. But “whistleblowers” contacted members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and told them about the report.
In their letter to the director, demanding the documents, the committee members wrote, “It is concerning that while you and other agency officials routinely testify that the agency needs more funding from Congress, the agency wasted nearly $300 million on an IT boondoggle.”
Errors in an application or not providing the correct documentation can cause even longer delays to processing a disability claim. If you are unable to work and need to file for disability in Illinois, contact Marshall W. Conick, Attorney at Law, for a free consultation.