"The debate over reform of Social Security and Medicare is taking place in a vacuum, without adequate consideration of fundamental facts." The War On Entitlements - NYTimes.com http://nyti.ms/YJcQS1




TO:                 NOSSCR Members


FROM:             Nancy G. Shor, Executive Director


RE:                  How Will Sequestration Affect SSA?


Sequestration's mandatory budget cuts are scheduled to take effect on Friday, March 1, 2013. The press has reported that "Social Security will not be affected." This is not completely accurate. It is true that the payment of benefits will not be affected. However, the sequestration cuts will affect all other aspects of SSA, including the day-to-day operations of the Agency, by reducing SSA's administrative budget.


According to the SSA Fact Sheet on the effect of sequestration on SSA's operations, field office and hearing office operations will be impacted, although the timing is not clear. SSA estimated that sequestration will result in longer waits in field offices (average of 30 minutes) and for the 800-number. Pending levels of initial disability claims would rise by over 140,000 claims and would have to wait about two weeks longer for an initial decision. Sequestration would result in the loss of over 5,000 more SSA employees.


At the hearing level, claimants will have to wait nearly a month longer for a hearing decision and the progress in reducing the hearings backlog would be eroded. While SSA will try to prioritize reductions to avoid furloughs, they still remain possible. With each furlough day, ODAR would not be able to hold 3,000 hearings.


We will provide further details when we receive more specific information from SSA.


He who knows not and knows not he knows not: he is a fool—shun him.
He who knows not and knows he knows not: he is simple—teach him.
He who knows and knows not he knows: he is asleep—wake him.
He who knows and knows he knows: he is wise—follow him.
German Proverb

Thus begins Judge Stadtmueller's decision in Freismuth v. Astrue blasting the Social Security Administration.

Download it here [PDF]

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