SSA Would See Budget Increase, About Half Of The Original Request
The Social Security Administration would receive $14.1 billion in budget appropriations for fiscal year 2023, pending approval by Congress and the President, from the omnibus spending bill released yesterday by the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations.
The bill provides an increase of $785 million, or 6%, compared with the prior year, which may be instrumental in helping the agency with growing Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claim backlogs.
Difficulties at state Disability Determination Services (DDS) across the country were highlighted in a report earlier this month by The Washington Post. The SSA has reported the pandemic has been a significant factor in workforce issues and growing backlogs in the SSDI program. The Post outlined DDS’ issues with tracking and retrieving medical records, communicating with customers, and general productivity problems.
Earlier this year, the SSA took the unusual step of appealing to the public for a budgetary increase because of “years of underfunding” and citing a workforce shortage of 4,000 employees hindering their ability to complete agency workloads. Each year, the SSA experiences fixed cost increases of approximately $500 million, meaning a significant portion of the proposed increase would be eaten up by standing costs.
The funding is significantly less than the $14.8 billion requested by the Biden-Harris Administration in the FY2023 President’s budget request. The omnibus bill provides a little over half of the $1.4 billion increase that was requested.
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