Checks will arrive on time, but nearly every other task the Social Security Administration performs — from answering phones to determining eligibility for claims — will be delayed if Congress fails to stop steep federal budget cuts from taking effect this week, officials warned Monday.
The Woodlawn-based agency is bracing for a cut of roughly 8 percent to its $11.5 billion budget if Congress does not avert the government-wide reductions known as sequestration. Officials say the cuts would leave people who call the agency's hotline on hold for 10 minutes and delay some disability decisions by a month.
"We're already getting a lot of reports of increasing anger from the public" since hours at the agency's call centers were shortened to save money, said Witold Skwierczynski, president of the Social Security Council of the American Federation of Government Employees. "People are upset."