According to Reuters, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has undergone a series of cuts in order to save costs, which have led to service issues.
The news service reported that the SSA stopped mailing annual statements in 2011 in a budget-cutting move that saves $70 million annually, with Americans given the option to check statements online. However, only 10 million workers, or 6 percent of the workforce, have signed up for the online service.
The cuts have been a result of budget crunching. According to Reuters, SSA has received less than its budget request in 14 of the past 16 years. “In fiscal 2012, for example, SSA operated with 88 percent of the amount requested ($11.4 billion),” Reuters reported.
“It’s part of a raging fight by conservatives to get rid of the government’s footprint wherever possible,” Nancy Altman, co-director of Strengthen Social Security told Reuters.
The news service reported that nationwide, SSA staff is down to 62,000, from a peak of 70,000 workers in the 1990s. The SSA has also consolidated 92 field offices across the country into 46 offices, and closed 521 contact stations.
The result has been longer wait-times for visitors. According to Reuters, visitors to SSA field offices waited more than 30 percent longer in fiscal 2013 than in 2012.
In addition, busy signals being reported by callers to the SSA’s customer service lines have doubled during the 2013 fiscal year over 2012.
Do I Need a Tulsa Disability Attorney to Help Me?
It is unfortunate that these cuts are affecting customer service. Many people who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are struggling to make ends meet, and they may require immediate services.
If you suffer from a disability that leaves you unable to work, we suggest contacting a Tulsa Social Security disability attorney to see if you may be eligible for SSDI benefits. We offer free consultations, and you may reach us by phone at (918) 587-0050.
Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys