Social Security Administration Issues Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2016
Social Security Administration Acting Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin recently submitted her 2016 fiscal year (FY) budget request following President Obama’s proposed federal budget announcement. Among the appropriation funding requests are allocations for $12.513 billion for Limitation on Administrative Expenses (LAE), $110 million for the Office of the Inspector General, $20 million in payments to the Social Security Trust Funds, and a combined $60.9 billion for the Supplemental Security Income program.
The Acting Commissioner’s budget request included a detailed report on how the SSA spent FY 2014’s budget. She also included explanations of the various programs and departments that benefit from the federal budget’s funding on a yearly basis. Among the highlights in her report were the following improvements the LAE budget request would make possible.
- Provide resources to reduce wait times for 1-800 number calls, better staff field offices, and expand current SSA online services.
- Review the hiring process for Administrative Law Judges to address the increasing wait times for disability claim appeals.
- Establish a dependable source of funding to increase cost-effective program integrity work.
- Testing of innovative strategies to improve programs designed to help disabled individuals return to substantial gainful employment.
The budget request included several reforms, including the continuation of the reallocation of payroll tax collections from the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) trust funds. Historically, this reallocation has been keeping the DI funded for several years, but a recent rule change in Congress may impair that if this budget request is not acknowledged.
Another reform of note is the proposal to establish a dependable source of mandatory funding in 2017 for the Continuing Disability Reviews and SSI redeterminations. This comes in the wake of several reports and accusations of fraud in the Social Security disability system that are attributed to waste.
No matter how budget changes affect the Social Security Disability program, Disability Help Group will stand by disabled Americans to ensure they receive a fair chance at all applicable disability benefits to which they are entitled. If you require help with a disability claim appeal or filing, please contact our office at 1-(800)-800-3332.