History of SSA During the Johnson Administration 1963-1968


Although the Servicemen's and Veterans Survivors Benefits Act was the threshold for augmented coordinative activities with the Veterans Administration and the military services, the Vietnam War supplied an impetus. The beneficiary rolls for the two unique payments provided by this law have enlarged causing new techniques and revision of forms to be developed with the Veterans Administration. In adddition to these payments which involve the Veterans Administration, the payment and increases of Veterans Administration pensions affect Prouty beneficiaries and also entail an exchange of information between the agencies.

The military catastrophes; like the Forrestal and Scorpion tragedies, as well as the Vietnam War required the development of expediter systems which would assure the prompt payment of benefits to the survivors of the servicemen. Dtails were worked out with the Marine Corps which enabled them to now furnish lag wage information with the notice of in-service deaths which has been automatic.

Although the usual Red Cross channels for information about prisoners of war and deaths in enemy territory was disrupted by the North Vietnam government, a protective application device was developed with the Department of Defense which assures protection to benefits. The applicability and policy interpretations in this area were furnished to the Department of Defense for distribution to casualty assistance officers in all branches of the armed forces.

Integration of systems is continually being explored with the Veterans Administration, the Civil Service Commission and military service records centers with a view towards more readily obtaining benefits and service information from them. The link between military medicare and the Social Security Administration program required coordination for the development of an output which would be practical and reliable.