For five of the last six years, Congress has cut Social Security’s budget and the current Congress is continuing the pattern.
Each year Social Security has to provide services to more retirees, more survivors and more people receiving and seeking disability benefits. The Senate proposal is even worse, calling for a 4%, or $400 million cut to Social Security’s budget for administration. This is despite all studies documenting the efficient operation of the Social Security system. It has been reported that SSA’s operations cost is less than 1% of all benefits paid.
If the Senate cuts are adopted, it will mean that since 2010, Congress has cut SSA’s budget by 16%, while the number of retirees, disabled and family survivors counting on Social Security has increased 14.3%. This means that customer service will be cut back further, hearing backlogs will increase, wait times on the phone lines will increase and consumer frustration will grow. This is not a sustainable pattern. Contact your representatives and urging them to fully fund this vital American program.
In an era of instant everything, it’s difficult to imagine waiting two years for a Social Security disability hearing. But more than one million Americans who have been denied disability benefits are awaiting an appeal, and two years is only the average waiting period for a hearing. Some will wait longer. Some won’t live long enough to attend a hearing.
Part of the problem is that the Social Security Administration has been without a commissioner since 2013.