Sending Office: Honorable Susan Wild
Sent By:
Dorcas.Adekunle@mail.house.gov

Support Strengthening the Social Security Administration in FY20

Deadline: March 26th

 

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 FY2020.

 

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 approximately $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 Dorcas.Adekunle@mail.house.gov with Rep. Susan Wild. 

 

Sincerely,

                                                                                                                                               
SUSAN WILD                                                                      JOHN LARSON
Member of Congress                                                           Member of Congress

 

 

 

The Honorable Rosa DeLauro                                     The Honorable Tom Cole

Chairwoman                                                                 Ranking Member

2358-B Rayburn House Office Building                       1016 Longworth House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515                                              Washington, D.C. 20515

 

 

Dear Chairwoman DeLauro and Ranking Member Cole:

 

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 FY2020 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 nearly 9
percent from 2010 to 2018, 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 aged. 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 or reduce the hours of operation at those left open, leading to lengthy
delays. In 2017, the majority of callers to SSA’s 800-number could not get through because of busy signals and long hold times. In 2018, the situation was even worse. 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. For example, dedicated funding provided by Congress
in recent years to reduce delays in disability benefit appeals has helped SSA make progress: average waiting times have gone from a high of over 600 days in 2017 to 534 days so far this year.  But this is still far too high. Without more robust overall 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.

 

Sincerely,

                                                                                                                                               
SUSAN WILD                                                                          JOHN LARSON
Member of Congress                                                               Member of Congress

 

 

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Appropriations, Social Security

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