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Reopening of Social Security offices expected to bring crowds and confusion

  April 4, 2022 | By Alfred Lubrano, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Angela Sutton was shot by a relative at age 14 in Germantown.

Now 42 and living in Northeast Philadelphia with her two children, ages 21 and 15, Sutton has been unable to work because of disabilities caused by post-traumatic stress, as well as pain from a bullet still lodged in her groin. Lately, a virus has diminished the vision in her right eye.

The Social Security Administration’s operating budget has been underfunded for years, said Stacy Cloyd, a director at the National Organization of Social Security Claimants Representatives, a group that includes attorneys who represent individuals in Social Security cases.

While the number of beneficiaries of SSI and other programs has increased 21% since 2010 — about 1 million people — the agency’s administrative budget has decreased by 13% after inflation, according to Romig.

To address that, President Joe Biden included $14.8 billion to operate Social Security in his proposed 2023 budget last week, a 14% increase over 2021′s $13 billion budget.

While Biden asked for a $1 billion increase for the agency in the 2022 budget, Congress allotted less than half of that, a continuation of historic underfunding, advocates say.

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