Sending Office: Honorable Joseph Crowley
Sent By:

Signed already (52): Crowley, Larson, Beatty, Blumenauer, Boyle, Brady, Brownley, Carbajal, Carson, Cicilline, Clarke, Clay, Cohen, Costa , Cummings, Danny Davis, DeFazio, Degette, Deutch, Espaillat, Evans, Garamendi, Gene Green, Al Green,
Grijalva, Hastings, Higgins, Kuster, Larsen, Lawrence, Lawson, Lee, Levin, Lipinski, Lujan, Lynch, McGovern, McNerney, Moulton, Nadler, Napolitano, Norcross, Panetta, Pascrell, Payne, Pingree, Schakowsky, Sewell, Shea-Porter, Sires, Takano, Thompson

Deadline: Wednesday, March 14, COB

Dear Colleague,

We invite you to join us in sending a letter to appropriators urging more funding for Social Security Administration (SSA) operating expenses in FY2019.

Social Security is the nation’s cornerstone economic security program – protection that Americans earn through a lifetime of hard work. Social Security supports Americans who are retired, have suffered a career-ending illness or injury, or have lost a parent
or spouse. The Social Security Trust Fund currently has $2.8 trillion in its reserves. It is important to families in every single Congressional district across the United States.

Yet, the funding provided by Congress for SSA’s operating expenses has been falling for years, even as the baby boomers age and more people are applying for and receiving the benefits they have earned. As a result of inadequate budgets, SSA’s staffing and
office hours have been cut, leading to ever-increasing wait times for service. In fact, wait times for disability appeals are at an unprecedented high of over 600 days, and thousands of Americans die before they receive the benefits they deserve.

It’s time to start providing the Social Security Administration with the resources it requires to provide service commensurate with the strength and importance of the program.

To join this letter, please contact Jeremy Woodrum with Chairman Crowley ( or Sylvia Lee with Ranking Member Larson (


Joseph Crowley                                              John B. Larson
Chairman                                                        Ranking Member
House Democratic Caucus                             Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee


Honorable Tom Cole
Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies
Committee on Appropriations
2358-B Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Rosa DeLauro
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies
Committee on Appropriations
1016 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Cole and Ranking Member DeLauro

We are deeply concerned about excessive wait times and declining service at the Social Security Administration (SSA). We urge you to support robust funding in FY2019 so that SSA can work to reduce the unconscionable delays faced every day by Americans who
are trying to access their earned benefits.   

Social Security is an essential component of economic security for American workers; almost all workers are contributing to Social Security and earnings its benefits.  The income Social Security provides is vital for retirees, families who have lost a breadwinner,
and workers who have suffered a career-ending injury or illness. It is impossible to overstate the importance of the program to the 62 million people who are receiving benefits. For 6 in 10 retirees, Social Security provides the majority of their income. And
nearly 4 in 10 widows have almost no income other than Social Security.  

Despite the importance of Social Security and its strong level of public support, funding to operate Social Security fell by 11 percent from 2010 to 2017, after accounting for inflation. Yet over the same time span, the number of individuals who are receiving
benefits increased by nearly 15 percent as the baby boom generation ages. This increase has led to a predictable and justifiable need for higher funding for SSA so it can serve more people.

Because of budget cuts, SSA has been forced to close offices and reduce the hours of operation at those left open, leading to lengthy delays. The majority of callers to SSA’s 800-number can’t get through because of busy signals and long hold times. And each
year, thousands die waiting for a decision on whether they are eligible for disability benefits, while many more endure years without income, in the process exhausting their life savings and even losing their homes.

These are problems that can only be resolved by providing increased funding for SSA. Without more robust funding, waiting times, benefit delays, and service problems will only grow worse – something that none of our constituents want.

Social Security is essential to American families. We urge you to support more resources for SSA so Americans can receive the benefits they are counting on.


Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Appropriations, Social Security

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