This is an archival or historical document and may not reflect current policies or procedures

Monday February 3, 2003

Jim Courtney, Press Officer

For Immediate Release

410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973

Social Security Online

SOCIAL SECURITY

News Release

Commissioner Barnhart: President’s Budget for SSA Shows Commitment to Programs; Confidence in Agency

Jo Anne Barnhart, Commissioner of Social Security, released the following statement regarding President Bush’s Fiscal Year 2004 budget:

"Today, President Bush proposed an $8.53 billion administrative budget for the Social Security Administration (SSA). This is a 7.5% increase over the FY 2003 budget request. It becomes an 8.5% increase when you adjust for the estimated Medicare hearings costs in FY 2003 that are not in FY 2004. It is more than double the 4% increase the President is proposing for his overall 2004 budget, and is the largest increase submitted since SSA became an independent agency.

"What a tremendous vote of confidence from our President! This is a large allocation of resources under any circumstances, but in this fiscal climate – especially with the compelling demands of national defense and homeland security – it is huge. It clearly demonstrates his support for our programs, which touch the lives of nearly every American. This budget will enable us to add 1,000 new SSA employees and over 300 new Disability Determination Service (DDS) employees.

"This budget recognizes the hard work and dedication of the Agency’s employees – most notably a 5.1% increase in productivity last year. In addition, our disability components caught up on continuing disability reviews, finishing our 7-year plan on time and under budget. DDSs exceeded goals in processing initial claims, despite the unexpected spike in new claims, and the Hearing Offices cleared over 500,000 hearings, almost 10% more cases above their goal.

"During my confirmation hearing, I made a commitment to develop and present a Service Delivery Budget (SDB). Last fall, I submitted the five-year SDB to the Office of Management and Budget. It outlines ambitious, but attainable, goals to work down our backlogs over five years, complete work on special workloads, and make stewardship and service investments. The SDB also includes an average annual 2% productivity increase over the five-year period.

"We have the President’s support. Now, we must convince Congress to enact this budget. The resources requested by the President are vitally important in our Agency’s efforts to serve the American people."

To read more about the proposed FY 2004 budget for SSA, click here

# # #

Note: Copies of most SSA press releases, as well as other Social Security information and statistics,
are available at SSA’s Internet site, Social Security Online, at http://www.socialsecurity.gov.
Also look there for information on subscribing to SSA’s
free electronic newsletter, Social Security eNews.

SSA Press Office 449 Altmeyer Bldg. 6401 Security Blvd. Baltimore, MD 21235
410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973