Protest budget cuts that threaten Social Security

soc-sec-skThe American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) and Social Security workers are deeply concerned that the Fiscal Year 2013 federal budget to run the Social Security Administration will be cut deeply from current levels, resulting in a devastating impact on the services provided to seniors, the disabled and the families who have lost a parent or spouse.

Sequestration could cut $600 million, while other alternative proposals, such as the Paul Ryan Budget or the Simpson/Bowles recommendations, could cut up to $1 billion from the Agency’s current inadequate funding levels.  Threats of across the board cuts still exist.  If such cuts become law, they would lead to possible furloughs, an ongoing hiring freeze, and the additional loss of 1000 workers.

Cutting Social Security’s budget at a time that record numbers of baby boomers are seeking benefits is another example of bad Washington politics.  By law, the administrative expenses for running the Social Security program are paid out of the Social Security Trust Funds, which have a $2.7 trillion surplus.  Administrative spending represents less than 1% of annual Trust Fund income.

Social Security does not account for the current deficit problem.  In fact, Social Security neither increases nor reduces the federal deficit since the program is entirely self- financed.

In protest of these proposed cuts, thousands of Social Security workers will be protesting across the country to stop the assault on SSA’s ability to serve the American public.

Informational picket and leafletting at the Columbia Tower in Seattle, Washington, site of the Social Security Administration Regional Office.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012, from 11 a.m. – 12 noon

Northeast corner of the intersection of 4th Avenue and Cherry Street

AFGE Local 3937, which represents Social Security Administration workers in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington will be participating in the protest with SSA workers and community activists who have been invited to voice their concerns about service delivery cuts at Social Security, such as office closings and reduced service hours.  They will also call on Congress to protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid during the Federal Budget debate.

Help protect Social Security on March 2nd!

Budget cuts proposed by House Republicans will gut funding to the SSA – delaying benefits, decreasing efficiency and reducing fraud investigations.

Join us on March 2nd, 2011 to protect and preserve Social Security!

Where: 4th and Cherry (downtown), Seattle, WA
When: March 2nd, 12 noon


9594 Mickleberry Rd. NW, Silverdale, WA from
12 – 1 p.m.

Washingtonians will lose access to Social Security benefits under House GOP proposal

How the GOP Budget Bill Would Affect Social Security in Washington state

Hidden away in this year’s budget package, Republicans in the House of Representatives are proposing a $1.7 billion cut to the Social Security Administration (SSA). If carried out, the budget cut will not only undermine Social Security’s promise to pay every American the benefits they have earned – it will also make Social Security less efficient and more prone to fraud.

The SSA is an extremely efficient program, with administrative costs at or below 1% of total expenditures. Funded at current levels, the organization has a number of very positive accomplishments under its belt: reduced average wait time for an appeal decision from 535 days in 2008 to 373 days in 2011; maintained service levels for beneficiaries despite a sharp increase in initial applications; and saved billions of dollars by identifying those no longer eligible for benefits.

But the budget proposal by House Republicans would likely reverse those gains, stall projects aimed at achieving further efficiency to offset the large influx of baby boomers, and cause up to four additional weeks of SSA office closures in 2011.

To determine the effects of the GOP plan on each state, the Democratic Staff of the House Ways and Means Committee put together a state-by-state analysis of the expected impacts. In Washington state alone, they estimate:

  • 17,400 applications for Social Security benefits (retirement, disability, and survivor) will not be processed;
  • 4,908 disabled workers will not be able to appeal their benefit denials;
  • 18,895 babies won’t be assigned Social Security numbers;
  • 67,479 people will go to the Social Security office for help and find the lights off and the doors locked;
  • 44,560 people will call the Social Security office and get no answer.

Social Security benefits provide a critical lifeline to more than 1 million retired, disabled and widowed Washingtonians and their families. It helps keep our state economy rolling, injecting more than $1.1 billion in 2009 alone. Cutting the Social Security budget won’t save any money – it will result in longer wait times, fewer audits for fraud, and higher costs in the long-run.

Contact your representative and urge them to vote against the cut. Click here to find your representative’s contact information.

You can see the full report on the proposed cuts, including impacts in other states, here.

Free webinars for women on Social Security and retirement planning

It’s tougher for women to achieve a secure retirement. Women generally earn less than men — and live longer. But there are steps you can take to prepare for retirement, whether you’ve just started working or are nearing retirement age.

The National Women’s Law Center is hosting a two-part series of free webinars for service providers, advocates, and individuals. The first webinar focuses on women and Social Security, the second on pensions and savings.

There is no reason to be intimidated by retirement planning. The webinars, part of the National Women’s Law Center’s Citi Education Series on Family Economic Security, will give you some tips and strategies to obtain peace of mind.

These online workshops are free to participants, but registration is required.

What Women Need to Know About Social Security
1:00 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Find out more about the benefits Social Security can provide, including before retirement, and about how your decisions (and your spouse’s, if you are married) about when to claim benefits can affect your retirement income.

What Women Need to Know About Pensions and Savings
1:00 p.m. EDT, Thursday, September 16, 2010
Find out more about ways you can save for retirement and manage your savings to improve your retirement security