Failure to pass either the GOP or Democratic Budget proposals in the Senate yesterday leaves agencies like the Social Security Administration in a bit of fiscal limbo.  Oddly, that limbo is still better than the alternative supported by the majority of GOP Senators yesterday which would cut $1.7 billion from the already underfunded agency. According to Social Security Administration head (and Bush appointee), Michael Astrue, the GOP budget would have a devastating long-term impact on the agency and beneficiaries would immediately feel the effects of a government shutdown, if we face one again on the 18th: House Ways and Means Democratic staff provided this analysis of the House GOP Budget provision:
  • As many as 400,000 people nationwide would not have their retirement, survivors, and Medicare applications processed this year, resulting in a large backlog of unprocessed retirement and survivor claims for the first time in SSA history;
  • As many as 290,000 people nationwide would not have their initial disability benefit applications processed, which means disabled workers, who already wait months for their applications to be processed, will wait an average of 30 days longer.