What a Hassle! Budget Cuts are Affecting SSA Offices; More Work, Less Staff.
Besides the monies accumulated from Social Security through payroll taxes, Social Security has an operating budget that is part of the Congressional Budget.
Since 2010, Social Security’s operating monies have been reduced by 10% even though aging baby boomers reaching retirement age have increased the demands on Social Security as a whole.
Another way to view this reduction is as a percentage to Social Security spending, reduced from .9% of the total to .7%. Have you ever wondered why you are left on hold for so long when calling your local Social Security office or why it is taking so long for your disability benefits to be calculated and paid? Now you know why, and have some compassion on the staff at Social Security. They have been reduced due to attrition with no new hires. More work, less people. This doesn’t make for any easy time for either the claimant or the benefits processor.
SSA has closed 64 local and 533 mobile offices since 2010, and reduced hours at the remaining offices. SSA’s phone service is less than stellar. Currently, a caller to the 800 help desk can expect to be on hold for 15 minutes and at least 10% of those calling get a busy signal. Anyone wishing to file an application for disability at their local Social Security office will have to wait at least three weeks for an appointment.
How to get around all this:
The answer to this issue is more money, but that won’t happen soon—if at all. It is in everyone’s best interest to go online and create a MyAccount at ssa.gov so that you have access to your specific Social Security information. You can do your own retirement planning or disability application online, as well.
Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill would be happy to assist you with your social security disability application or online appeals if you are not comfortable using the Internet. Just give us a call. We want to help the Social Security Administration as much as possible so that you can get the benefits you are entitled to.