Unfortunately the answer may be yes. A lot has been said lately about budgets both at the state and federal level. And the Social Security Administration is no different. They put a budget proposal together every year outlining what they will need to operate and Congress appropriates money to them. Recently, the Republican controlled Congress passed a continuing resolution giving the Social Security Administration $125million less that they did for fiscal year 2010. That is about $1.7Billion LESS THAN what they need to operate. That wasn’t a typo. That’s Billion with a B. And how will these cuts effect the millions of people waiting for disability benefits? Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue recently testified before Congress about the effect these cuts would have on Social Security’s ability to process claims: potentially 3,500 layoffs; increased wait time; closing remote sites (forcing clients to drive further for hearings); a bigger backlog. In short, this will slow up an already slow process.
A reduction of this level will potentially undo all of the progress that has recently been made to eliminate the backlog. Increasing the time that it takes for people who desperately need help to get the benefits they both need and deserve.