The Social Security Administration (SSA) has rolled out its modernized Disability Case Processing System (DCPS) to 31 states and territories, but the system is only being used to process seven percent of their workloads due to gaps in functionality, according to a review by SSA’s inspector general.

The IG review – released December 2 – found that while SSA expected states to fully adopt DCPS within 12 months of using it, states found too many gaps in functionality to fully adopt the new system, hampering SSA’s $153 million of investment in modernizing disability determinations. Adoption varied heavily, as state disability determination services (DDSs) that have had access to the system for over a year ranged from using the system for 95 percent of cases on the high end, to just 0.69 percent of cases on the low end.

“DDS Administrators reported gaps in functionality prevented them from increasing their use of the system,” the inspector general noted. “DDSs remained optimistic about DCPS but were concerned with the slow progress and lack of a detailed timeline for when DCPS will be fully functional.”

The report also evaluates SSA’s use of agile methodology, as the continuous rollout of capabilities was a key part of the agency’s strategy. However, SSA’s delivery of capabilities was often delayed, with 28 revisions to delivery targets and some features delayed for two years.

“Slower than expected development and delays in delivering functionality increased development costs,” the inspector general found.

In total, the inspector general was unable to conclude that the cost and schedule estimates for DCPS were reasonable. SSA’s comments defended the implementation, highlighting the states with high adoption and noting that more functionality is coming in future releases.

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MeriTalk Staff