Social Security Administration Working on Minor Y2K Glitches

Article excerpt

Last month the Social Security Administration sent letters to more than 32,000 people telling them that certain benefits would end on Jan. 1, 1900.

Yes. 1900.

It's the kind of glitch that drives the people who deal with public concerns about the Y2K computer problem -- where some computer programs cannot recognize the year 2000 -- crazy.

A senior official in charge of systems at Social Security, Kathleen Adams, said that the important systems that do the heavy lifting do work fine and can handle the date rollover. However, she said there may be some bugs still to be fixed in less important systems, like the one that wrote the form letter.

"We're confident that all of the programs that determine who is eligible for benefits, and for how much . . . are ready," Adams told the Associated Press.

Adams said Social Security began its remediation efforts in 1989, and has since spent close to $40 million checking 35 million lines of computer programming code. So far, it has changed about 3 million lines to bring systems up to date.

Adams said that the "cosmetic" display programs -- those that contain dates not used for age computations -- have not been as rigorously tested as those that determine eligibility. …


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