Apr 10, 2013

A First Look At The President's Budget For SSA

     The President's recommended budget for fiscal year (FY) 2014, which begins on October 1, 2013, provides for a 7% increase in administrative funding for the agency over FY 2012 and "Establishes a dependable source of funding for Continuing Disability Reviews and Supplemental Security Income Redeterminations." I don't yet know what is meant by a "dependable source." Chained CPI is in the budget, of course.
     Update: I'd like to give you detailed budget information but I can't just yet. Social Security has tried to post this information on its budget website but the links aren't working. Perhaps it's a work in progress.
   Further Update: I can now see the detailed numbers on Social Security's website but only by switching from Foxfire to Internet Explorer. Some weirdness that I don't understand. At the bottom is an extracted page showing the most important numbers. You can click twice on the page to view it full size. Here are some other items I found, quoted in the order I came upon them:
  • The language provides for the use of up to $1,000,000 derived from fees charged to non-attorneys who apply for certification to represent claimants.
  • Beginning in FY 2014, the budget proposes to remove discretionary funding above the base amount of $273 million from the Limitation on Administrative Expenses (LAE) Account and instead, provide a mandatory appropriation for program integrity activities in a newly established Program Integrity Administrative Expenses (PIAE) account. These mandatory funds will be in addition to amounts provided to the Social Security Administration (SSA) in the LAE account and will be available for two years. In 2015 and beyond, the proposal would replace both base and cap funding for program integrity and the cap on discretionary appropriations would be lowered by a commensurate amount.
  • Full funding of the FY 2014 President’s Budget will allow us to resume mailing Social Security Statements to all eligible workers 25 years old or older.
  • Key Performance Targets: Initial Disability Claims Completed (thousands) FY 2012 3,207, FY 2013 2,970, FY 2014 2,851; Reconsiderations Completed (thousands) FY 2012 809, FY 2013 803, FY 2014 725; SSA Hearings Completed (thousands) FY 2012 820, FY 2013 836, FY 2014 807; Average Speed of Answer (ASA) [on Social Security's 800 number] (seconds) FY 2012 294, FY 2013 455, FY 2014 482
  • The Budget proposes to amend the Social Security Act to limit access to the "Death Master File" to prevent this information from being used to file fraudulent claims for benefits or tax refunds. This proposal provides that death information that we maintain may be used by agencies, subject to such safeguards as the Commissioner of Social Security determines are necessary or appropriate for the purpose of public health or safety, law enforcement, tax administration, health oversight, debt collection, payment certification, disbursement of payments, and for the prevention, identification or recoupment of improper payments.
  • The FY 2014 President’s Budget proposes a technical correction relating to when Social Security benefits stop due to divorce. A parent and stepchild may receive benefits on the record of a worker, but, if the marriage terminates in less than 10 years, they are no longer eligible for benefits. Currently when a stepchild’s parent is divorced and no longer eligible for benefits from a former spouse, benefits for the parent terminate in the month before the month in which the divorce becomes final. However, benefits for the stepchild terminate one month later, in the month the divorce becomes final. This proposal would provide equal treatment for the stepchild and his or her parent; both benefits would end in the month before the month in which the divorce becomes final.
  • The FY 2014 President’s Budget takes other critical steps to finds savings in government programs by making smart reforms that root out duplicative or wasteful spending, such as reducing an individual's Disability Insurance (DI) benefit in any month in which that person also receives a state or Federal unemployment benefit. This proposal would eliminate dual benefit payments covering the same period a beneficiary is out of the workforce, while still providing a base level of income support. Enacting this offset would save $1 billion over 10 years.


Anonymous said...

Correct me if I am wrong but that is several percentage points below the last two years requests? I see very little of this coming to pass.

Liz C said...

The links appear to be working now.

Anonymous said...

Would the unemployment offset be only for those under 50? Because if one is over 50, one can still be "ready, willing and able to work" while still meeting the Grid Rules (limited to sedentary work with PRW at light or above).

Anonymous said...

Looking at the workyears projected for the PB in 2014, they increase over this year's sequestered level very little. Don't expect backlogs to be addressed at that level of effort.