We Want to Provide You with Timely, High Quality, and Accurate Service

November 22, 2022 • By

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Last Updated: November 22, 2022

Social Security Administration LogoSocial Security Administration (SSA) employees demonstrate an unwavering commitment to serving the millions of people like you who turn to us for help each year. However, we cannot keep up with the demand for service and our annual fixed cost increases like salaries, rent, and guard services. The bottom line is that we need more funding to deliver the services you expect and deserve, whether it’s requesting a new Social Security card, applying for benefits, or the many other services we provide.

The Biden-Harris Administration asked Congress for a funding anomaly of $800 million higher than our fiscal year (FY) 2022 budget, as we started FY 2023 in October without a full year budget. The additional funding would have allowed us to maintain level service by hiring employees, funding our fixed cost increases, funding information technology (IT) projects, and allocating enough overtime to handle workloads, provided there is not an unexpected and significant increase in demand for our services and programs.

Congress provided us with $400 million, which provides enough funding to cover our fixed cost increases only through December, overtime at FY 2022 levels, and continuous hiring at the start of FY 2023. However, it is not enough to cover the full year fixed cost increases or to maintain the hiring and overtime levels beyond December to improve service. On the other hand, the FY 2023 President’s budget request of $14.8 billion for SSA – a $1.4 billion increase over our FY 2022 enacted level of funding – would allow us to improve customer service and offer the service experience you deserve.

We have faced years of underfunding. We are currently operating with approximately 4,000 fewer employees since prior to the pandemic – a 7% drop, since we have not had the funds to hire the level of staff needed. We are also experiencing historically high levels of employees leaving the agency, because employees are carrying unreasonable workloads given the staffing shortage. As we lose employees, our service further deteriorates. You feel the effects of our staffing shortage. You are waiting an unacceptable average of over six months for a decision on an initial disability claim and over 30 minutes to speak to a representative on our National 800 Number.

Our employees strive to provide you compassionate and timely service but cannot do so without a budget that allows for significant improvement. Without additional funding in FY 2023, we would be forced to freeze hiring, cut overtime, and cut funding for our IT investments.

It is critical that we have the resources to restore staffing losses and continue our important IT investments or face years of deteriorating services that you will not and should not accept. We must be able to provide timely and quality service to everyone who depends on us.

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  1. Bernadette A.

    Virtually everyone who has run for President in my lifetime has talked about cutting Federal employees and the public agrees with them. So funding and employees have consistently been cut until Joe took office. I worked for SSA for 34 years, and one of the reasons that I retired when I did was that my staff had been cut so much that I could no longer be an effective manager because I had to do the work. SSA employees on the front lines are among the most hard working employees in Federal government. Without the funding SSA, nor the Federal Parks service or IRS or any federal agency can do the job that the public deserves. I got in trouble writing something similar to the article that we are commenting on before I retired.

    • Randy

      Sorry, but managers are responsible for employee motivation and hiring the CORRECT people instead of lazy G-men. And Get the Biden admin to stop demotivating work with inflation and wages rhetoric. The only thing congress need to do is rein in the Fed on interest rates, freeze wage increases between 3 and 5% and kill any inflationary $15/hr wage increase . Stop inflation it’s tracks.

      And I worked in government too.

  2. Ashlee

    You can start saving money by stopping the hiring and paying doctors to say what you want when it comes to a person having a recertification done to see if they are “still disabled”. Yes we know you pay drs to lie for you stating the person isn’t disabled anymore and you throw them off. You know people collecting disability cant afford attorneys to fight so they lose disability and you take it and put illegals on it which brings me to the next way to save money and that is stop allowing non-Americans to get disability and social security!

  3. Visaghan B.

    Thank you SSA, for posting this information .

    • Randy

      Don’t believe them. Get the facts. They lie about climate, abortion, wages, GLBT behavioral choices, etc. They CANNOT be trusted.

  4. Tony

    The 6 months for the initial determination for disability is not bad.

    The disabled applying for compassionate allowance gets their decision much faster. Almost all people apply for SSDI have a 5 months waiting period and don’t get paid until the 6 month.

    The freeloaders who never work a day in their life trying to get the taxpayers to pay for their SSI can wait.

    Most of the complaints and harassing phone calls are about disability. Some disabled claimants call back everyday. The 30 minutes is a deterrent from those harassers.

    Banks and credit card companies are making people wait a very long time to talk to a real person if the customers don’t use their online banking and credit card services.

    The SSA needs to do the same thing to talk to a real person. While the retirement or disability claimant is on hold, the SSA should play a recording of the online services available instead of waiting on the phone for an SSA representative.

  5. Art M.

    NO, you need phone employees who have the authority to make decisions. We don’t informational people, we need people who are empowered to fix things.

  6. Dave F.

    Take some of the billions allocated for IRS agents that are not needed and you’ll be fine. This shows the misaligned priorities of our current leadership.

    • jerry

      Dave! where do you think the money to run the government comes from.They are trying to keep the big kids and companies from exploiting tax laws so can pay little to no taxes.
      make it fair

      • Randy

        60% of Americans paid no tax last year due to misadministration of funding. I also learned recently that those 60% are on an almost equal financial footing due to entitlements, whether they work or not. No wonder biden wants a $15/hr gift.

  7. jaime R.

    why the us. is sending millions of dollars to support a war in Europe, money that’s belong to taxpayer, and what Ukraine give us, they are a foreign country not a united state taxpayer, the don’t belong in our business …

  8. Doug

    We spend more money on Countries that could give a rats a** about ours. Open boarders will remain open until this fricken administration acknowledges there is a problem there. Spending all this money to help others, pay’n for them to come across the border and welcoming them. The cut will not begin to heal unless this country decides whose doing the cutting. Forget the bandaid let’s fix the problem instead of making it ours!

  9. Patricia C.

    Well, start a few petitions. The authors are “preaching to the choir.” We can’t get you the funding just by agreeing with you. We need a movement. We need petitions, letters to our representatives, letters to op ed pages, letters and petitions to the people who actually make things happen!

    • Patricia C.

      And also, stop allowing the wealthy to not have to put in over a certain wage point. The wealthy should support the impoverished!

    • Randy

      But the opposite needs to happen. Less funding is actually an incentive for these people. Look, some one finally got off their backside to lie in a letter. At least they did something. Fire the managers that don’t produce employees who actually work for a living so that remaining and new managers get rid of the driftwood.

  10. Ann S.

    Increases sounds good. Balance the budget by deleting business exemptions.

    • cathy w.

      no one at soc sec will help me review my benifits. pensacola lowered my disability benifits all by themselves. they wont call back or even answer the phone. not due to covid. they took 1000.00 from my bank account. didnt even put on computer they did that. wont recalculatr my benifits. cant get no help. done 10 waivers and 10 appeals since feb 2020. my phone no is 850-426-7826 cathy wade. Can anyone hear me??

      • Bernadette A.

        Call your Congressman or woman. They have special staff dedicated to resolving issues with government agencies.

        • Colette

          That doesn’t help! I know because I tried it. It was almost 4 years before I got my SSDI.

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