Americans have enough problems with Social Security. It may run out of money in less than a decade. That will primarily affect people who retired in the past 10 years or have not retired yet. To add to the insult, people who need information about Social Security have difficulty getting it. (Surprising things the government knows about you.)
American Federation of Government Employees, a union representing more than 40,000 Social Security Administration employees, says service is at an “all-time low.” Part of the proof they offer is that people need to wait as much as 30 minutes on the phone to get information and correct problems. Additionally, lines at local Social Security offices are so long people have trouble getting in.
According to CNBC, “Applicants for disability benefits face waits of more than six months for decisions from the agency, the union said.” That borders on being cruel.
Some of the union’s comments may be self-serving, but that does not mean they are false. The union claims Social Security workers are underpaid, which causes churn and inefficiency.
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Unfortunately, the service issue may be small compared to whether people will get full benefits after 2032. That is the year experts believe Social Security will no longer be fully funded. Millions of Americans rely on Social Security as their primary means of income. A drop in Social Security payments would drive some Americans into poverty. That has economic consequences for consumer spending and undermines Americans’ agreement with the government for decades, which is that people who pay into Social Security deserve full benefits.
Social Security is on its way to being a train wreck, particularly if Congress does not agree to fund it by the end of this decade. Congress may not, and long lines will be a minor issue.
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