|Statement by Kilolo Kijakazi, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, on the President’s Fiscal Year 2024 Budget
Key investments focus on improving service, modernizing our information technology, and improving the customer experience and equity in our programs.
The Biden-Harris Administration today released the President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2024. The Budget details a blueprint to grow the economy from the bottom up and middle out, lower costs for families, protect and strengthen Medicare and Social Security, and reduce the deficit by ensuring the wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share—all while ensuring no one making less than $400,000 per year pays more in taxes.
“Our programs affect individuals throughout their lives: from birth, to entering the workforce, to facing a disability or loss, and to retirement. The broad and critical nature of our programs drives our request for the resources necessary to improve our service to the public.”
The President’s FY 2024 Budget request for the Social Security Administration (SSA) proposes $15.5 billion in discretionary budget authority. The Budget will:
Improve Service Delivery: The Budget provides an increase of $1.4 billion, a 10-percent increase over our FY 2023 enacted level to improve customer service at our field offices, State disability determination services, and teleservice centers for retirees, people with disabilities, and their families while maintaining the integrity of our programs. Each year, we process more than 6 million retirement, survivors, and Medicare claims and more than 2 million disability and SSI claims. The Budget supports increased staffing levels from FY 2023, allowing us to process about a half million more disability cases in FY 2024 than we completed in FY 2022 and significantly reduce wait times for those decisions.
Advance Equity and Accessibility: We are one of the most important anti-poverty programs in the country. We remain committed to administering our programs in a way that promotes equity and fairness. We are making it easier for people to access the services they rely on, including individuals experiencing homelessness, children with disabilities, and people with mental and intellectual disabilities. The Budget makes investments in these areas to support SSI outreach work, including collaborating with government agencies and other third-party organizations in local communities to provide convenient access to our services and ensure members of the public are aware of their potential benefit eligibility.
We are also committed to enhancing the diversity and richness of our workforce to strengthen and maintain an inclusive work environment that values individual differences and treats employees with dignity and respect; thereby, enriching our current workforce, which is driven by our public service mission. This Budget continues our efforts to hire and promote the Nation’s best talent and build a diverse and representative workforce and ensure that all employees have equal opportunities to advance in their chosen careers.
Modernize our Information Technology: The Budget continues investment in our information technology (IT) to reduce the burden on the public, modernize our website and online services, and provide an improved customer experience.
To accelerate our progress, the Budget includes $50 million in dedicated no-year funding for our Benefits Modernization efforts. Our Benefits Modernization efforts will provide our employees with better technology tools to determine eligibility and process claims in order to better serve the public. The Benefits Modernization project is in addition to the efforts we are taking to sustain our systems.
Provides National, Comprehensive Paid Family and Medical Leave: The vast majority of America’s workers do not have access to paid family leave, including three out of four private sector workers. Among the lowest-paid workers, who are predominantly women and workers of color, 92 percent have no access to paid family leave through their employers. As many as one in five retirees leave the workforce earlier than planned to care for an ill family member, which negatively impacts families as well as the Nation’s labor supply and productivity. The Budget proposes to establish a national, comprehensive paid family and medical leave program administered by SSA. The program would: provide workers with progressive, partial wage replacement to take time off for family and medical reasons; include robust administrative funding; and use an inclusive family definition. The Budget would provide up to 12 weeks of leave to allow eligible workers to take time off to: care for and bond with a new child; care for a seriously ill loved one; heal from their own serious illness; address circumstances arising from a loved one’s military deployment; or find safety from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. The Budget would also provide up to three days to grieve the death of a loved one. The Administration looks forward to continuing to work with the Congress to make this critical investment and strengthen America’s economy.
Building on the President’s strong record of fiscal responsibility, the Budget more than fully pays for its investments—reducing deficits by nearly $3 trillion over the next decade by asking the wealthy and big corporations to pay their fair share.
For more information on the President’s FY 2024 Budget, please visit: https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/.
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