U.S. Senators Call for a Social Security Beneficiary Advocate

April 18, 2022

Legislators Suggest Modeling Proposed Role After Existing Taxpayer Advocate Position  

Senators Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Ron Wyden, D-Ore, and Bob Casey, D-Pa recently sent a letter to President Joe Biden requesting a beneficiary advocate to champion the needs for Social Security participants, including those with disabilities. The senators propose that the advocacy role be modeled on an already existing taxpayer advocate position at the IRS, which is performed by an independent organization within the agency that supports taxpayers in resolving problems. More than 69 million Americans currently receive monthly stipends from Social Security. This figure includes 8 million Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries, many of whom have disabilities. In the letter, the senators point out that problems with Social Security escalated during the pandemic, citing that field offices across the country were closed until very recently. These closures resulted in millions of calls to the agency going unanswered and stacks of mail remaining unopened. Additionally, the senators indicate that even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Social Security struggled to conduct outreach to families caring for disabled children. Gary Tonks, president and CEO of the Arc of Ohio, applauds the letter and the effort made by the senators. He states, “People with disabilities rely on the Social Security Administration for many benefits, but they and their families frequently struggle to get answers or have problems sorted out. A beneficiary advocate at the Social Security Administration would help address the problems that people with disabilities and others face when to access or maintain benefits.”  


Letter from Senators 

Original Article 

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