Chairman Crowley, Ranking Member Larson Lead Letter Urging President Trump to Support Increased Funding for the Social Security Administration

February 5, 2018
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY) and Congressman John B. Larson (D-CT), the Ranking Member for the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security, along with 107 Democratic members of the House, sent a letter to President Donald Trump today, urging him to support higher funding for the Social Security Administration to reduce the unconscionable delays Americans are facing to receive the benefits they have earned.

Over the past seven years, Social Security’s operating budget has fallen by more than 10 percent, after adjusting for inflation. At the same time, the number of individuals who are eligible for benefits has increased by nearly 15 percent as the baby boomer generation retires. Without proper funding, the skyrocketing wait times Americans are experiencing will only worsen.

Delays in receiving earned disability benefits are already at unprecedented levels. Workers, many who are gravely ill or injured, must wait nearly two years for a decision on their disability appeal. Additionally, due to an insufficient budget, the SSA has been forced to close offices and reduce the hours of operation for those left open, and it has been unable to replace all of the employees who retire or leave for other jobs. The majority of callers to SSA’s 800-number give up without getting through – they either get a busy signal, or hang up after lengthy waits.

President Trump pledged he would not cut Social Security or Medicare, yet in his first budget, he proposed more than $60 billion in cuts to Social Security benefits, and an inadequate amount for SSA’s operating expenses.

“Social Security is the cornerstone of economic security for American retirees, families who have lost a breadwinner, and workers who have suffered a career-ending injury or illness,” the lawmakers wrote. “Given the importance of Social Security, it is imperative that we increase the agency’s budget, to ensure that Americans can receive their earned benefits, on time and in full.”

All Americans pay into Social Security during their working lives, and nearly 62 million Americans are currently receiving the benefits they have earned. For 6 out of 10 retirees, Social Security provides the majority of their income. 

The full text of the letter can be found here.