SSA gets a small increase in Bush budget

Nearly a third of the agency's $1.03 billion IT budget will go toward updating its infrastructure to improve claims processing.

President Bush’s fiscal 2007 budget proposal for the Social Security Administration shows a small increase that takes into account the upcoming retirement of millions of baby boomers. The budget request for fiscal 2007 is $1.03 billion, increased from $1.005 billion in fiscal 2006.

Information technology initiatives are likely to reap some benefits funding for SSA’s infrastructure. For fiscal 2007, Bush is requesting $338 million to provide data computing architecture that enables fast and accurate processing of claims for beneficiaries.

In other IT investments, the budget proposal includes $13.4 million to replace SSA’s accounting system with an off-the-shelf certified system. Most of the money has already been allocated in previous years. The fiscal 2007 budget request is $13.4 million.

The budget also includes $2.3 million to help develop electronic processes to support the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 and provide the public with options for communicating with the agency.

But the administration said in its budget-briefing book that SSA is already saving money by implementing the largest electronic disability claims process in the world. It has cut the amount of erroneous payments and saved $37 million with competitive sourcing in 2005.

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