SSA And DDS Staffing Down Over 15% Since 2010
The Social Security Administration (SSA) lost 15% of its staff since 2010, with no states increasing staffing levels. Recently, the pandemic has contributed to workers leaving for the private sector or simply retiring. Several large states lost over 20% of their workforce, including Illinois, Ohio, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. Other notable states include California, down 16%, and New York, down 12%.
Following suit, state Disability Determination Services (DDS) staff decreased 16% during the same time period. Large states losing more than 25% of their staff include Georgia, Illinois, Tennessee and Texas. Other large states of interest experienced declines as New York fell 24% and California dropped 11%. These reductions in force have significantly impacted disability processing times at the initial application and reconsideration levels. See related maps recently shared by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
In recent testimony before Congress, the Deputy Commissioner of Operations, Grace Kim, noted the impact of budget cuts and staffing losses on customer service, ““We are at a crossroads. The cumulative impact will increase our customers’ wait times for in-person and phone service, increase claims processing times, and lead to increases in pending workloads. It will take a multi-year effort and adequate funding to restore pre-pandemic initial claim wait times.”
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