The union that represents Social Security Administration (“SSA”) employees in 1,200 offices throughout the nation recently sent a letter of concern to Democratic senators warning of the negative consequences of cuts to Social Security programs. The letter paints a pretty bleak picture for Social Security beneficiaries, whether they get retirement or disability benefits.
The SSA’s problems essentially revolve around the fact that it has to find ways to save money, even though its workload is increasing year after year. As Baby Boomers age, the number of older Americans is going to surge up through 2030, requiring additional funds for retirement benefits. At the same time, the poor economic times have led to increased disability applications, which require more money for the disability program. The increased beneficiaries and applications also require more work and more hearings from SSA employees, further boosting costs.
As the union wrote about Social Security, “no program has done more to protect middle-class individuals when they retire or become disabled.” Effects of SSA cutbacks are already being felt. The SSA now closes its field offices 30 minutes early. It has cut employee overtime by 80 percent and has had to implement hiring freezes.
The union’s letter discusses two outcomes – both negative – for next year:
- If the 2012 SSA budget matches 2011 one, the SSA will lose another 4,400 employees, resulting in the processing of 400,000 fewer disability applications.
- If Congress cuts the budget by 5 percent, employees will have to have 24 unpaid, non-working days each year. Each of those days translates into the processing of 19,000 fewer retirement claims and 11,000 disability claims.
Have you made any adjustments to your future based on the uncertainty surrounding Social Security? The lawyers at our Tulsa Social Security Disability law firm are interested in learning how disabled Americans have been coping with tough economic times and the possibility of fewer benefits.
Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security Disability lawyers