Reuters: Funding cuts have put U.S. Social Security customer service in crisis mode (December 8, 2022)
The SSA has been plagued by years of cuts to its administrative budget imposed by Congress just as the aging of the U.S. population has meant an exploding workload. The number of beneficiaries has jumped 21% since 2010, yet its operating budget shrank 17%, adjusted for inflation, notes Kathleen Romig, director of Social Security and disability policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Staffing has fallen by 13%, and now is at its lowest level in 25 years.
In-person service is critical for some seniors, and especially people with limited English language proficiency, said Tracey Gronniger, managing director of economic security at Justice in Aging, an advocacy group. “Many just don’t have the same ability to get online and navigate these systems – a significant percent need a face or someone to talk to who can go over the paperwork with them.”