White House Budget Extends Lifeline to the Disabled
February 14, 2011 - 2:36pm ET
In yet another sign that the White House has taken to championing Social Security, the new budget would add $1 billion in funding for the Social Security Administration to help reduce Social Security’s disability claims backlog.
Here is the relevant excerpt from the President’s budget (p. 163):
The President believes that all Americans should have the opportunity to retire with dignity. To fund this commitment, the President’s Budget includes $12.5 billion for SSA operations; an increase of $1 billion above 2010 to keep the President’s commitment to reduce the backlog of disability claims. The Budget also reflects the need to find areas for cost savings wherever possible. Accordingly, the Budget includes funding to more effectively and efficiently process thousands of continuing disability reviews to enhance program integrity for long-term savings, and supports disability pilot programs to help ensure that only successful and cost-effective programs are implemented.
Currently, there is a 514-day waiting period just to get a hearing for Disability Insurance benefits. The result is that millions of disabled Americans who need Social Security to survive are denied its benefits. The President’s funding increase will no doubt ease their pain, and bring us closer to making the disability claims process efficient and fair.
The House Republicans’ Continuing Resolution proposal, by contrast, would reduce the Social Security Administration's funding from 2010 levels by $625 million.
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