Access to Financial Institutions
Social Security Administration, Office of Budget, Finance, Quality and Management | Published June 12, 2014
The Government intends to establish a contract for Access to Financial Institution (AFI) Services. The contract duration will be for a base year plus 4 option years and will include an Option to Extend Services clause allowing for up to 6 additional months if exercised.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, which was created by Congress to provide income assistance for the aged, blind, or disabled whose income and resources are below specified levels. Countable resources, including those from financial accounts, must be under $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple. Currently, there are over 7.5 million SSI beneficiaries on the rolls, and approximately 2 million individuals apply for SSI each year. In addition, each year SSA conducts approximately 2.5 million periodic redeterminations of SSI eligibility. During both initial SSI claims determinations and SSI redeterminations, SSA must obtain verification of financial institution (FI) account balances to determine that resources remain under the specified level(s), and recipients continue to meet eligibility factors.
The Foster Care Independence Act of 1999, section 213, allows the SSA Commissioner to require SSI applicants and beneficiaries to provide authorization for SSA to obtain any and all financial records from any and all financial institutions. These authorizations would remain in effect, unless revoked in writing. The Commissioner need not furnish to the financial institution copies of the authorizations or written certification of compliance with the provisions of the Right to Financial Privacy Act. Refusal to provide, or revocation of, an authorization may result in ineligibility for SSI. SSA implements its authority by issuing form SSA-4641-U2, "Authorization for the Social Security Administration to Obtain Account Records from a Financial Institution and Request for Records."
SSA previously awarded a contract to design, develop, implement and maintain a proof-of-concept (POC) system that could test an automated process for the delivery of, and response to, Form SSA-4641-U2.
Following the initial POC purchase order, a series of awards followed to enhance the account verification services. The current contract implemented a national system for SSA that provided access to financial institution data on the assets of SSI applicants and beneficiaries for purposes of determination of SSI eligibility.
The purpose of the present requirement is for a contractor to continue maintaining and updating the AFI system. The services procured via the resultant contract will maintain an information exchange between SSA and FIs, which enables SSA to obtain the necessary information needed to verify accounts, account balances, and interest income for SSI applicants, recipients, and/or deemors.