With the sequester scheduled to take effect this Friday, March 1, 2013, the media has reported that Social Security will not be affected. This is not entirely true. Although benefits will not be cut, the agencies operating budget will be reduced. This is an agency that is already racked with budget cuts. Many of the local Social Security offices have reduced operating hours, closing at 3:00 PM. Lines at some of these local offices has been known to be out the doors, and being kept on hold for more than 30 minutes is common.
The Social Security Administration predicts that the sequester will mean the elimination of 5,000 jobs from the agency. This means that millions of Americans who depend on Social Security for retirement and disability payments are at the mercy of the agency that does not have the resources it needs to handle all the applications. This means that people who apply for disability will have less service, longer lines and longer processing times before they can receive the assistance that they need.
With a reduction of Social Security staff to answer your questions, being represented by an experienced Social Security attorney will make sure that you have someone knowledgeable to answer your questions and to shepherd your case through the process. With wait times for hearings expected to increase by up to two months, you want to make sure that when you do have your hearing, you have someone next to you who can present your evidence and prove your case in front of the judge.