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

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Monday, February 3, 2003

Jim Courtney, Press Officer

For Immediate Release

410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973



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:

"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.

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