Railroad Retirement Board: Actions Needed to Improve the Effectiveness and Oversight of Continuing Disability Reviews

The Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) is an independent agency that administers disability benefits for railroad workers. In fiscal year 2016, about 31,000 railroad workers with disabilities received $1.1 billion in disability benefits. RRB is generally required to periodically assess beneficiaries’ medical condition or earnings through continuing disability reviews (CDRs) to verify that they remain eligible for disability benefits. This report examines the extent to which RRB (1) conducts medical and earnings CDRs to ensure the continued eligibility of disability beneficiaries, and (2) oversees the CDR program. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) analyzed data provided by RRB for CDRs completed in fiscal years 2014-2016, the only years for which complete data were available. GAO also reviewed RRB’s policies and procedures, a nongeneralizable random sample of 14 CDR cases that were completed in fiscal year 2016, and relevant federal laws and regulations; and interviewed RRB officials. Congress should consider giving RRB access to the National Directory of New Hires, a national database of wage and employment information that would enable it to identify potential overpayments sooner. GAO is also making three recommendations to RRB, including that it reconsider the purpose and value of high-risk CDRs, and routinely compile and analyze CDR data to improve oversight. RRB agreed with these recommendations.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 35p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01665625
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: GAO-18-287
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 21 2018 1:24PM