As government freezes Social Security benefits, employees get extra day off
Employees of the Social Security Administration will receive an extra day off work the Friday after Thanksgiving, according to Federal News Radio.
The Administration, which employs nearly 65,000 people, is allowing nonemergency workers to take the day off on November, 26th, the day after Thanksgiving.
Social Security workers “faced unprecedented workloads and unprecedented hostility from an increasingly stressed public,” Commissioner Michael J. Astrue told his employees in a memo. “While many government agencies understandably have moved backward in this climate, you have moved forward.”
“Waiting times are down in field offices and teleservice centers,” Astrue continued. “Busy signals are down dramatically on our 800 number. Program integrity work has steadily increased the past three years, and it is paying off with a significant increase in the accuracy of our…work.”
Many of the 58 million beneficiaries of Social Security are upset with the Administration for not increasing the Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2011.
For the second year in a row, senior citizens will not receive an adjustment in their monthly checks.
By law, the Cost Of Living Adjustment is based on the Consumer Price Index, which measures the rate of inflation. The Social Security Administration claims that no increase is warranted because the Consumer Price Index has not increased since 2008.
Despite the Administration’s claims, many Social Security recipients say that the cost of living has in fact increased.
“We don’t get enough from Social Security and everything is going up,” Mildred McLaughlin, a retired librarian, told The Daily Item. “I just keep getting deeper and deeper in debt.”
Astrue says his employees deserve “an extra day of rest and reflection” for their accomplishments. “Four years ago it took about 900 days to get a hearing in Atlanta; it’s now a little less than a year.”