Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Stimulus Package Boosts Social Security Administration

In addition to distributing direct payments to recipients of Social Security and Veterans' Disability, the stimulus package will also benefit the Social Security Administration.

In an online interview with Federal News Radio, SSA Commissioner Michael Astrue
tells the that the Administration is due to receive more than $1 billion from the bill and expects its fiscal 2009 budget to be $126 million more than the President's request.

For the first time in several years, Commissioner Astrue feels that Congress "finally understands SSA's technology shortcomings" and adds that the SSA "could be in the best financial shape in a long time." In terms of numbers, the FNR article notes that approximately $500 million of the Stimulus is dedicated for the Administration's "new national computer center."

Beyond finances, the FNR article had hopeful news for those waiting for hearings, noting that "The agency also plans to hire 3,000 to 6,000 new employees in 2009 to help deal with the backlog of disability claims and increase in retirement applications that is expected over the next few years."

With all of these big plans, it will be interesting to track SSA's progress over the next few years.

To read the entire FNR article, click below: