Social Security What's Buzzing

New cuts proposed for Social Security Administration

Written by Diane Archer

Back in June, I reported for Just Care that Congress was keeping the Social Security Administration from spending its own money to administer benefits effectively. As a result, SSA was going to need to cut critical services. If that wasn’t bad enough, Kathleen Romig of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports that there’s now a bill before the U.S. House of Representatives that calls for new cuts for the Social Security Administration in 2017.

Since 2010, Congress has cut SSA’s core operating budget by 10 percent, after inflation, to the detriment of people needing help with their Social Security benefits. The $100 million in new cuts proposed for SSA by the House Appropriations Committee would further hurt customer service and program integrity.

If the proposed cuts pass, it would mean that SSA would need to implement a total hiring freeze, which could:

  • Delay decisions on disability benefit appeals; the wait is already 540 days, up from 360 in 2010, or
  • Keep Social Security from hiring replacement staff as people retired or left, or
  • Require Social Security to furlough staff for one to two weeks and close its 1,245 offices in the process; 600 field offices have been forced to close since 2010, or
  • Further cut field office hours for the public, which are already cut back to a half-day on Wednesday and a 4 p.m. close every other day, or
  • Reduce staffing on the Social Security 1-800 number, meaning longer hold times for the public; hold times already average 15 minutes and 10 percent of callers get busy signals, or
  • Prevent modernization of Social Security’s computer systems

The bill does not increase funding for program integrity by $378 million as requested and as Congress previously had agreed to do, even though Social Security returns $8 for every $1 invested in its program integrity efforts.

If you agree that we need to expand Social Security, not make benefit or administrative cuts to it, sign this petition.



      • It would make much more sense to cut the ridiculous salaries of the Senate and House by at least 10% and then put a cap on it, forever, or until we the people vote and approve a raise individually based on performance.

  • …the right wing of Congress is making the joke about them being the opposite of “Progress” ring so true these days.

    If they cannot outright cut benefits, they plan to make the process of getting important information and help as unwieldy and difficult as possible. 540 days for a disability appeal claim, that’s almost two years. How is a person supposed to survive that long with no income? I have been following the case of one individual for over a year who was severely disabled after an accident and is getting nowhere with his case. He cannot even spend one day on the job due to frequent blackouts which have caused him additional injury, including multiple concussions. Yet, his case is going nowhere hung up by delay after delay. He has gone through all his savings, will most likely lose his home, and with his wife and children, could be out on the streets.

    I guess this is what these overpaid heartless spineless right wing tea baggers in Congress want.

    • It’s already difficult to jump through their hoops and survive without losing something in the process. It took me more than 2 years for my SSDI and my home foreclosed because of it. There should be a separate committee that will work for what actually helps Medicare, and who don’t get paid the ridiculous salary of Congress (ie. not doing it for the money or party). Bipartisanship is a thing of the past. Who votes against something they think is right simply because the wrong party is presenting it?!… and then goes on vacation. Congress should be 50/50 Dem/Rep and then Maybe they’ll get something done!!!

      • This is getting ridiculous. I depend on Social Security to survive. Without it I could not exist. Please expand Social Security, not deplete it.

  • Why does Congress even have any control or the right to make decisions about Social Security? It makes no sense because it is not part of government funding, it is money contributed by taxpayers and their employers, and the same with Medicare. Maybe it is time to start a petition to put an end to their interference. Any thoughts or feedback?

      • Congress only cares about congress. No SSI raise this year, yet my rent went up $20.00 along with other cost of living expenses. $20 IS A LOT TO ME WHEN MY RENT ALREADY TAKES UP HALF MY INCOME! Now they say we might get a $2 SSI raise next year! What if my rent goes up again? Maybe Congress should take a major pay cut to get a slight glimpse of what cutting back is like.

        • All of my utility bills have gone up considerably this year. Also the price of gasoline and groceries have gone up. I’m really struggling to pay my bills now. A significant raise would be a real godsend.

          • I reside in a HUD approved “Senior Low Income” apt. complex. The second year our rent went up even though SSI did not. I use to own a home so this is all new to me. Rentals are run by Property Management places that don’t care about how much your SSI is, or that you didn’t get a raise. They raise the rent, and if you can’t pay you are evicted with the first missed payment. Meanwhile, the cost of living around you continues to rise. Shouldn’t take a genius to figure out where I will have to cut back. Now my car died!

  • How does the government justify a .03% raise then Medicare takes it back by raising their cost and drugs have gone out of sight.
    Most senior citizens are living in poverty or VERY close to it !

    • Because they sit behind their desks all day, AND get paid very well doing it. Obviously they have no idea how we live, so they can do whatever they want and still sleep at night. It is getting out of control!

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