NASI addresses AI impact on Benefits

  • July 8, 2024
  • William Payne

The US National Academy of Social Insurance has launched a new Task Force on Artificial Intelligence, Emerging Technology, and Disability Benefits.

The US Social Security Administration (SSA) has recently begun expanding its use of these technologies in administering its disability programmes, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

“As the use and potential capabilities of artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies have expanded, ‘benefits tech’ is now being utilised more by the day within the realm of social insurance,” said the Academy’s incoming CEO Rebecca Vallas. “This intersection is a critically important new focus for the Academy’s work,” she said.

AI and emerging tech offer opportunities to streamline access to benefits and reduce processing times to bring down SSA’s disability backlog. “Due in large part to the administrative complexity of SSA’s disability determination process, an estimated 30,000 disabled workers die every year waiting for benefits, according to the latest data,” said Tracey Gronniger, one of the Task Force’s Co-Chairs and a member of the Academy’s Board of Directors..

“At the same time, the use of AI and other emerging tech in the benefits realm also presents significant risks,” said Henry Claypool, also a Task Force Co-Chair. Experiences in other use cases—such as veterans’ benefits, Unemployment Insurance, Medicaid, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—offer valuable lessons, both in terms of best practices and potential pitfalls from the perspective of equity and the rights of benefits applicants and recipients.

The National Academy of Social Insurance is a non-profit, nonpartisan organisation comprising experts on social insurance. The Academy advances analyses and solutions to how social insurance can continue to meet the changing needs of American families.