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Public Session: Researching and Evaluating Access to Social Security Programs

May 20, 2022

On Friday, May 20, the Board hosted a public session with Professors Pamela Herd and Sebastian Jilke on researching and evaluating equitable access to Social Security programs.

Professor Herd gave examples of administrative burdens in the SSI program and concluded by identifying opportunities to improve outreach, simplify application complexity, and outsource third-party support. Jilke highlighted the use of mailers and behavioral nudges to promote equitable access and the need to personalize and continuously test the interventions used. After the presentations, the professors fielded questions from Board members and the public.

This session is part of a series of work by the Board on the quality and accessibility of Social Security’s service to the public. To view the other work in this series, visit the Series Preface page.

Researching and Evaluating Equitable Access to Social Security Programs

Key Documents


Herd is a Professor at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy and co-author of the acclaimed book: Administrative Burden. Herd’s research focuses on health, aging, and policy.



Jilke is an Associate Professor at the McCourt School, where he co-directs the Better Government Lab. Jilke also works with the Office of Evaluation Sciences, where he helps develop and implement RCTs.