WASHINGTON, July 19, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) National Council of SSA Field Operations Locals (NCSSAFOL) is warning the public and Social Security beneficiaries of the danger of the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee's decision to cut President Obama's proposed budget request for the Social Security Administration (SSA) by $1.2 billion, $263 million below the Fiscal Year 2016 spending level.
Witold Skwierczynski, President of the NCSSAFOL, states that the House budget cuts will result in a ten-day furlough of all SSA workers, an agency-wide hiring freeze, a reduction in local field office hours, permanent closing of many field offices, increases in wait times on SSA's National 800 number and field offices, and an increase in processing times for benefits.
"This is an outrageous attack against Social Security programs," states Skwierczynski. "This will make it hard for the people who have paid taxes for this program to get their benefits and deal with the SSA and other issues."
The Social Security Administration's administrative budget costs are seven tenths of one percent (.7%) of beneficiary outlays. These costs make SSA the most cost effective program in the US government and private sector alike.
"Ten furlough days equates to a two-week shutdown of Social Security. This means that for two weeks, we will not take retirement, survivors, or disability claims. We will not be able to address lost benefit payments, changes to benefits, process applications for Social Security numbers, collect overpayments, engage in program integrity work, and more. It is irresponsible for the House of Representatives to think that shutting down SSA and punishing the public is warranted," states Skwierczynski.
Skwierczynski states, "AFGE highly recommends that the public weigh in on this vote, which was supported solely by the House Republicans in the Appropriations Committee. Members of Congress are returning to their districts for the next 7 weeks; perhaps they need a call to remind them whom they represent!"
The AFGE National Council of SSA Field Operations Locals represents 28,000 employees in 1250 Social Security field offices and 28 Teleservice Centers across the country, including Puerto Rico, and the Pacific Islands.