Statement of Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, on the President’s Fiscal Year 2012 Budget RequestSunday, February 20th, 2011
For over seventy-five years, Social Security has provided hundreds of millions of Americans with an economic safety net. As the baby boomers retire and reach their disability-prone years, Social Security’s workloads continue to grow. In addition, the economic downturn has greatly increased the demand for our services. Despite this dramatic growth in our work, through increased employee productivity, new initiatives, and improved funding we have reversed a trend of declining service and an increasing backlog in our disability workloads.
The President’s budget request of $12.522 billion for Social Security’s administrative expenses will allow us to maintain staffing in our front-line components, fund ongoing activities, and cover our inflationary increases. It will allow us to reduce our hearings and initial disability claims backlogs, and to continue to reverse the decline in our program integrity work. Program integrity work not only pays for itself, but also produces considerable savings to the taxpayers.
Full funding by Congress of the President’s budget request is critical. This budget request is the minimum the agency needs to continue to reduce key backlogs and to increase deficit-reducing program integrity work. It will allow us to build on the considerable progress we have achieved, progress that is vital to the millions of people who depend on our services and to the American taxpayer.
For more information about the President’s 2012 budget request for Social Security, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/budget.