Government Stimulus Payments to be Sent in June; Backlog in Cases Continues

March 22,2016
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I mentioned in a previous post that the Social Security Administration had announced it was going to issue checks to all adults who were presently receiving Disability payments. Among the provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009–commonly referred to as the Stimulus Bill–is a one-time $250 stimulus payment to be made to qualifying Social Security beneficiaries.

In a press release issued on March 26, 2009, the Commissioner of Social Security and Vice President Biden announced that those checks–to Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries who were eligible for Disability benefits in November and December 2008 and January 2009–would be sent out by the Social Security Administration beginning in early May.

The announcement that the money will start going to people presently in ‘pay status’ with Social Security is terrific news. However, I, together with my colleagues and the members of Congress, continue to be frustrated by the Social Security Administration’s backlog of cases.

The U.S. Government has now allocated over $100 million into the Social Security system in order to reduce backlogs in the disability claims process. Yet despite this enormous infusion of cash, the Social Security Administration has not decreased its overall backlog of cases. In fact, while the backlog has decreased in some areas, it has increased in others. This means that for the most part, the people who are waiting for decisions from Social Security continue to wait longer and longer to get decisions at every step in the Administrative process.

The sentiment in Washington, with which I wholeheartedly agree, is this: with an annual budget of $11 Billion and a work force of 63,000 people in 1,300 field offices nationwide, you would think that the Social Security Administration would be able to fix its backlog problem.

Gabriel Hermann