Commissioner Barnhart: Presidents
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
"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
"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
To read more about the proposed
FY 2004 budget for SSA, click here.
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