The Biden administration is proposing a hefty 10% increase in funding to the Social Security Administration. This is good news for disability beneficiaries and applicants.
The announcement is part of the White House budget proposal for 2022, and factors in a $1.3 billion increase in funding to the cash- strapped agency. Additional funding will help the agency to return to its pre-pandemic processing and approval timelines.
For disability beneficiaries, the months since the pandemic began have been challenging. The agency closed field offices across the country, and Georgia was no exception. Benefits claims processing has been delayed by weeks and months in many cases, and approvals have been slow in coming.
According to estimates, the number of pending disability benefits applications has increased significantly during the pandemic. The pending application backlog rose by 30%. In 2019, there were 593, 000 disability benefits applications pending, and that number increased significantly to more than 750,000 in 2020. The average processing time for applications also spiked by approximately 11 days with the Social Security Administration taking approximately 131 days to process benefits claims in 2020.
The new administration has also been taking other steps to encourage efficiency at the Social Security Administration. The White House recently fired Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul, and President Biden has appointed Kilolo Kijakazi as the acting Commissioner.
Positive changes at the Social Security Administration can only mean good news for thousands of disability beneficiaries who continue to wait for their claims to be processed and for their benefit checks to begin arriving in the mail.