The American struggles sheep through to the Social Security Administration (SSA), whether on the phone or in the effort to arrange personal meetings, has been all over the news so far this year, even after President Joe Biden issued an executive order last year aimed at improving online social security services and other government programs.
Now a group of Democratic senators has launched a push to move forward make things better for the recipients.
U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Bob Casey (D-PA) have written a letter to Biden asking for the creation of a “Beneficiary Advocate” for the SSA.
The new position would be modeled after the IRS’s taxpayer’s lawyer and created to “ensure that the tens of millions of Americans who depend on social security, often after a lifetime of work and contribution to the system, have a dedicated voice in SSA’s everyday life. – the daily operation. ”
The senators’ proposal is not legislation, but rather a letter to the president, though the creation of such a post may require a legislative statute. That is the point address not only the lack of funding for the program, but the need for a voice to represent social security beneficiaries.
“The SSA serves nearly 70 million beneficiaries who receive social security and supplementary income income benefits. These beneficiaries have faced unprecedented challenges in accessing services during the last two years of the pandemic, exacerbated by the agency’s underfunding,” the senators wrote.
“There is more that the SSA needs to do to address these chronic, systemic issues. But the agency lacks a voice to represent the beneficiaries. We urge you to create a Taxpayer Advocate-like position with the SSA to ensure that the beneficiaries have a stronger, dedicated voice in agency operations. Such an attitude will help our government continue to carry out the solemn commitment that Social Security represents to the American people. “
IRS created Office of the Taxpayer Advocate under the Clinton administration in 1996, and it replaced the former Ombudsman’s office.
IRS Taxpayer Advocates latest annual report listed that 2021 “no shortage of taxpayer problems.”
“The last year and the 2021 application season conjure up every possible cliché for taxpayers, tax professionals, the IRS and its staff – it was a perfect storm; it was the best of times and the worst of times; patience is a virtue; with experience comes wisdom and with wisdom comes experience; out of the ashes we rise, and we experienced historical ups and downs, ”the office currently led by National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins, said in the report. Prior to taking up this position in 2020, Collins worked for KPMG’s Tax Controversy Services practice.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and splice today . Co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.