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 payments.
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. – less