Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work




United States -- Social Security Administration, Income maintenance programs -- United States, Organizational change, Income maintenance programs.



Physical Description

70 Pages


In 1974 a revolutionary new income maintenance program was implemented in the United States. It was revolutionary in style because it provided a federalized income floor for the elderly, blind and disabled, previously provided for under various federal, state, and local welfare programs. The program was called Supplemental Security Income, or SSI. The Social Security Administration, a long-standing institution in the financial community because of old age, survivors and disability insurance (OASDI) benefits, was chosen to administer 551. SS represented a new innovation for the Social Security Administration who had never before had to provide non-work-related benefits to indigents. In order to incorporate the SS! program, the Social Security Administration had to change its organizational goals and functions. Organizational change is an increasingly important phenomenon to be researched today. This study examines the initiation of a new program, SSI, in the context of intraorganizational change. * The basic hypothesis is that the implementation of a new program function within an existing organization causes the organization to undergo a process of change to incorporate the new program. Due to the nature of the extent of change involved when the Social Security Administration undertook the Supplemental Security Income Program, it was hypothesized there would be a subsequent change in the interorganizational relationships of the Social Security Administration and the local community. This assumption was made because the new goal of the Social Security Administration relative to SS was to provide information and referral services to an indigent population previously not serviced by Social Security. This study attempts to examine the changes going on within the Social Security Administration because of the adoption of the SSI program and relate them to these four issues :

1. The extent and nature of the SSI program and the program change, specifically with regard to the elderly population.

2. The subsequent changes in interorganizational relationships and contacts called for during the implementation of SSI .

3. The development and success of information and referral services as part of the Social Security Administration's functioning.

4. The role of the Social Security Administration within the local community.

These issues will be examined within the context of the intraorganizational change process and will be reviewed again at the conclusion of the study.

*The concept of "intraorganizational change" as used here is defined as change within the focal, or particular, organization being studied.


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A practicum submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Social Work, Portland State University, 1976.

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