These guys have your number. Or at least you better hope they
do. The Social Security Administration (SSA) pays retirement,
disability, and survivors benefits to workers and their families.
The SSA also issues Social Security numbers and administers the
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Program from more
than 1,400 offices around the country, including its regional
headquarters in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Kansas
City, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle. The
SSA operates primarily with an annual federal budget of almost $12
billion and some $66 billion in contributions from
workers. President Franklin D. Roosevelt created Social
Security and the administration in 1935.
About 180,000 people visit the SSA's field offices and more than
435,000 people call the agency daily for filing claims and asking
questions. In 2011 the SSA paid benefits to about 60.4 million
people and issued 17 million new social security numbers.
SSA's strategy to improve its operations involves reducing its
disability hearings/request backlog and improving the efficiency of
its disability process. By September 2013 it wants to
reduce the average wait for a hearing decision to 270 days,
primary by hiring more administrative law judges. It also
is investing in its technological infrastructure in order to better
interact with people, investigate claims, and register
As the amount of money allotted to its annual budget continues
to fluctuate or decline, the SSA has been working to reduce costs
through the use of hiring freezes and layoffs. It plans to lay off
more than 7,000 federal and state workers throughout 2012 and 2013.
The agency cut back on the amount of hours it was open to the
public in order to reduce overtime. It also ceased mailing its
social security statements, striving to save on costs of about $70
million per year.
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