Aug 9, 2016

Tough Times Ahead Under GOP Budget

     From Joe Davidson's column in the Washington Post:
Social Security is facing dark times —  not just figuratively, but as in the lights would go out.
That’s the warning from Social Security Administration (SSA) officials if an appropriations bill pushed by House Republicans takes effect.
“There would be up to two weeks of furloughs for all employees,” the agency said in information obtained by The Washington Post. “During this time, our offices would be closed to the public.  Additionally, a full hiring freeze would cause service degradation and long wait times and delays. ..."
It’s not like Social Security is operating in the flush now. Since 2010, its operating budget has shrunk 10 percent after inflation while the number of beneficiaries rose by 12 percent. ...
More than 1.1 million people are waiting for a disability hearing. That means they have to wait more than 500 days, on average, to get a decision on their appeals. SSA has closed more than 60 field offices and 500 mobile offices since 2010. Last year, waits of three weeks for an appointment were common. Callers to the 800 number have to wait 13 minutes on average, if they get through at all. ...

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Commish said at recent all hands meeting expect CR more of the same, hiring freeze continues but no furlough

Margaret Kibbee said...

There is a hiring freeze now. When someone leaves, they are not replaced.

Anonymous said...

Our ODAR is constantly bringing in new people so I don't see a hiring freeze happening there. And the turnover is part of the problem with the poor processing of claims.

Anonymous said...

Where are you (11:47) getting new employees and what did you say to get them?? Are you getting hardships or other transfers or off the street new employees? Are these mission critical positions or just SCTs and writers? The people want to know, lol!

Anonymous said...

11:47 AM here. I am not an ODAR employee so can't answer the questions re how they get these folks. I am in a midwestern city in Region 5.

Anonymous said...

Agency is very management top heavy, esp in payment centers, the over staffed Amms and Mms should be demoted back to processing cases, that might settle the budget problem and combat hiring freeze at same time.

Anonymous said...

If we are going to think crazy, maybe we should hire the best qualified candidate as well!

Anonymous said...

@2:56,

What a change - Hiring and promoting best qualified candidates, as opposed to favorites. Could go a long way in turning this Agency right side up.

Anonymous said...

Top management said everyone was in a hiring freeze except ALJ's..

Anonymous said...

Isn't there a posting for 50 GS 13 attorney positions in the Appeals Council? There may be a hiring freeze but there's no promotion freeze. And there's no "award" and "bonus" freeze. Internally, carrots are still being dangled and favors are still being given. The AC managers have likely pre-picked the GS 12 attorneys that they want to promote already though. It's a "morale thing." The young AC GS 12 attorneys are constantly saying that if management doesn't promoted them to 13s within a few years, they'll leave. So the AC promotes 50+ each year to satisfy some and give the rest hope of advancement. And they dole out a few GS 14 AO promotions to try to retain the 13s. Some 14s get AAJ jobs. Meanwhile, out in the hearing office hinterlands, the GS 12 attorneys can roll over dead before they ever hope to get 13s, right?

Anonymous said...

re:2:53pm Totally agree, two AMM's one MM each mod is ridiculous. And when there is a vacancy because one gets promoted, they fill them jobs quick. Gotta get all your girlfriends promoted.

Anonymous said...

The folks bringing up the management ratio issue have obviously never worked in or managed a mod. It is not easy. Without oversight many technicians will while away the day on their smart phone or land line shooting the breeze, chasing pokeman...

Anonymous said...

10:28

With an attitude like that, its no wonder SSA is a sinking ship.

Anonymous said...

SSA is not a sinking ship in spite of the gloom and doom on this site, which I enjoy. The workloads and goals are just too ambitious. The explanation is that redes and cdrs are "tied to the budget" which is inexplicable to the folks who have to do the work. SSA managers work very hard to keep the ship afloat.

Anonymous said...

I def dont believe ssa is a sinking ship, there are some kick a technicians that keep things moving and help carry those that dont. There are some very good managers and then there is some dead weight that was promoted due to being a problem, therefore someone elses problem. This happens everhwhere though, private sector included. We have very good jobs here, the work does continue to pile up though.

Anonymous said...

keep drinking that kool-aid

Anonymous said...

I see there are do nothing managers on here protecting their jobs. They couldn't do a case if they tried, which they don't. Just give you unattainable goals for a week while they sit and watch you do them.