July 21, 2004
Colorado, Minnesota, Illinois, New York, Maine, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
Purpose of the call
On July 21, 2004 a conference call was held with those states that are receiving the SVES information through the FPLS - Social Security Administration (SSA) interface. The purpose of the call was to gather feedback about how each state is using the unique SVES data, to discuss data elements states find most helpful, and to glean best practices and lessons learned for using the SVES matches.
Current SVES Status
Colorado loads the SVES information into their state system and displays it for workers to review. Their system will automatically attempt to verify the information. They are finding that some of the information is very old-up to 25 years old. The state would like for OCSE to edit some of the data prior to the states receiving it. They would like to receive information on children: currently they cannot handle the children data; however, they would consider system changes if the information was available. Workers currently have an interface with SVES directly and can receive children data; however, the process takes 3 weeks or longer.
Illinois is using the SVES matches to populate certain data elements within the state system when the fields are blank (i.e. address data). Currently, they have developed two reports, one for the Title II and one for the Title XVI, to review the address matches to see if they are good prior to updating the address in the system. They are not using the benefit information at this time. They are still reviewing the data.
Maryland developed an online screen for workers to query when they are working a case. This has been in production for 3 months. Prior to the online screen, the workers received daily paper reports. They do not update fields within the state system based on the SVES matches that are provided.
Minnesota loads the data daily into their nightly batch. On a quarterly basis they send a large batch of requests to the FPLS for many of their participants. These responses are also sent to the workers. They have received positive responses from the workers regarding the usefulness of the data; however, they have also found some of the information to be old. Although some of the information is dated, workers can use it for a good locate lead. They also would like to receive the children benefit information.
New York is receiving the data; however, it is not loaded to their state system. Modifications to their system have been made to accept the data, and they are in the testing phase of implementation.
Pennsylvania provides their workers with all returned SVES data in a separate on-line report. If the worker finds the information useful for case management, they may add it to their state system. Caseworkers have the ability to manipulate the data as needed and can perform different queries in order to sort the data. Data is not responded to in an automated fashion since they discovered, via an MSFIDM appeal, Title II and XVI co-mingle their benefits; this is a problem since SSI benefits cannot be seized. No independent verification has been done to see how good the data is; however, caseworkers say that some of the information is very old. Information that workers consider useful are Date of Death, Prisoner and Account type fields.
West Virginia worked from printout reports for 12 months until programming was completed to display the data on their state system. Workers find the information helpful when the person is in locate status. The prisoner information seems to be most helpful. They also receive good locate leads for NCPs. They would like data on children.
Interfaces With Other Agencies/ Data Definitions
Colorado developed an interface with TANF. The caseworkers would like a “Cheat Sheet” on interpreting the SVES data fields.
Minnesota has the functionality for workers to use the F1 key when a definition is not known. The definitions provide a list of every code and what it means. Also it will link the worker to the SSA website for further information.
Pennsylvania plans on translating the codes received from SVES into a descriptive sentence, which will be derived from the SSA Data Dictionary.
West Virginia receives SVES data from their TANF agencies. The workers tend to like the data better than the SVES interface since it seems to be more updated and specific. Workers can manipulate the data and look for a participant even if the SSN is not available.
Usefulness of Data
Colorado reported the Prisoner data is beneficial for interstate cases. Workers independently verify the information. It provides good leads on the NCP whereabouts, if he/she has been released.
Illinois notifies the CP automatically when the Date of Death is received in order for her/him to apply for SSA benefits.
West Virginia filters out a lot of information. Address information is typically known through other locate sources. Information can be as old as when the NCP was a child and workers find the information is not often helpful. Workers, however, consider the Date of Death information to be valuable.
All states reported the child(ren) data would be beneficial for case processing and would like to receive child(ren) information from the SVES interface with OCSE.
No states automatically generate income-withholding notices when Title II data is received.
Level of Effort
Colorado reported it took them 2 months, from start to finish, to do the analysis, coding and testing necessary to implement the SVES responses into the state system. They had one full-time (programmer) dedicated and a tester that dedicated 20% of her time.
West Virginia redesigned all FPLS data screens at the same time the SVES responses were coded into the system. Therefore, it took about 12 months from start to finish to implement the SVES data into the state system. Caseworkers worked from print reports during the 12-month period. One full-time programmer was dedicated to this effort for the entire 12 months.
Once the SVES request form was completed, Minnesota indicated it took 9 months before caseworkers began to see the SVES data on the state system; separate screens for each entitlement were developed. All medical information was stripped due to HIPPA requirements.
Colorado indicated they were exempt from stripping the medical data by their ACF regional office.
- Gather specific examples from West Virginia where information received from TANF differed from the OCSE interface.
- Look at the possibility of putting together a “Cheat Sheet” on the SVES data definitions.
- Investigate Minnesota’s, process of stripping out the medical information due to HIPPA requirements.