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NATIONAL COMMITTEE URGES APPROVAL OF $5.3 BILLION FOR SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATIVE BUDGET

 NATIONAL COMMITTEE URGES APPROVAL OF $5.3 BILLION
 FOR SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATIVE BUDGET
 WASHINGTON, March 5 /PRNewswire/ -- "Confidence in the integrity of Social Security will be restored only when administrative expenses are determined by Social Security need, not by the bottom line of the federal budget," the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare told Congress today.
 In testimony before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security, National Committee President Martha McSteen said that a minimum appropriation of $5.3 billion for 1993 Social Security administrative expenses will permit Social Security to move forward with initiatives to control its growing workload.
 However, she said, "Social Security Administration's two most serious service delivery problems are inadequate telephone access and the growing backlog of disability insurance claims."
 The former acting commissioner of the Social Security Administration pointed out that lack of telephone access to local offices is exacerbated by an inability to reach the 800 number and receive reliable information. "Only restoration of adequate local office telephone service with appropriate staffing will protect callers from loss of benefits to which they are entitled."
 In addition, McSteen said: "The staff at Disability Determination Services are being overwhelmed. With the current backlog, an initial disability decision could take up to six or seven months after the application is filed, a sign of continuing staff or budget shortages in the State Disability Determination Service Offices."
 She urged that Social Security administrative expenses be removed from the discretionary budget and also urged passage of H.R. 4192, the Truth in Budgeting Act, which would preclude the Social Security trust funds from masking the federal deficit.
 The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare is a grass roots senior organization with nearly 5 million members and supporters dedicated to protecting the entitlements of senior Americans.
 -0- 3/5/92
 /CONTACT: Bill Ritz of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, 202-822-9459/ CO: National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare ST: District of Columbia IN: SU: LEG


DC -- DC013 -- 5406 03/05/92 11:24 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 5, 1992
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