Local Sequester Effects Becoming Clearer
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Local Sequester Effects Becoming Clearer

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March 11, 2013

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Tell us what's happening in your community as the sequester takes effect

Cuts to meals programs … longer lines at Social Security offices … some effects of the sequester are becoming clearer.

Now that Congress failed to stop the sequester, federal agencies are beginning to share details of how the cuts will be applied to individual programs.

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) released estimates of the sequester’s impact on the funding each state receives via formula under the Older Americans Act.

It's important to read the explanation ACL provides in this memo, particularly:

  • The level of cuts vary from state to state due to the statutory requirements of the formulas and
  • The amounts are subject to change when final FY13 appropriations are enacted, since these calculations are based on temporary funding provided by the continuing resolution.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) also recently reiterated some estimated impacts of the sequester in a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee. While Social Security benefits are not subject to sequester cuts, SSA’s already limited administrative budget will be reduced further.

Callers to the toll-free line will have to wait at least 10 minutes for an answer, and visitors to the field offices also will experience longer wait times. Pending levels of initial disability claims are likely to rise by over 140,000, and applicants will have to wait, on average, about two weeks longer for a decision on an initial claim and nearly a month longer for a hearing decision.

FY2013 Funding

Meanwhile, the House proposal to finalize FY13 funding passed on March 6. The Senate version seeks to provide additional flexibility to the Administration to respond to the sequester.

A Senate vote is expected later this week, and then a compromise bill will have to be negotiated and enacted before the current continuing resolution expires on March 27.

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