Biden Moves to Speed Up Delivery of Social Security, Other Benefits

December 15, 2021 Topic: Social Security Region: Americas Blog Brand: Politics Tags: Social SecurityRetirementBenefitsJoe BidenBuild Back Better

Biden Moves to Speed Up Delivery of Social Security, Other Benefits

The president’s recent executive order will most impact Americans over the age of sixty-five.

President Joe Biden this week signed an executive order aimed at digitizing many government functions, which will include making receiving Social Security benefits easier.  

The executive order, which is called Transforming Federal Customer Experience and Service Delivery to Rebuild Trust in Government, directs seventeen separate government agencies to “account for the experiences of the public” in terms of providing services.  

The White House description of the executive order describes how it will specifically deal with Social Security.  

“Retirees will be able to claim their benefits online, receiving updates on the status of their application throughout the process,” the White House stated in the executive order. In the meantime, “Medicare recipients will receive personalized online tools so they can save money on drugs, manage their health care, access expanded customer support options (including an in-network pharmacy finder tool), and enjoy a streamlined enrollment experience with the Social Security Administration.” 

The executive order will also seek to streamline processes for filing taxes, for disaster relief, for everyday travel, for student loans, for Veterans Affairs health care and benefits, for poverty benefits, and for financing small businesses. In addition, the order will make it easier to navigate records for “women seeking maternal health care and nutrition access in the critical early years of children’s lives.” 

The executive order will most impact Americans over the age of sixty-five, according to Bloomberg News. 

“Oftentimes there’s a time tax—it takes a long time to fill out a form, or go through a line or access a benefit and our focus is really ensuring that we’re minimizing those frictions,” White House staff secretary Neera Tanden said in a press briefing before Biden signed the executive order. 

Biden is still seeking to pass the other major part of its legislative agenda, the Build Back Better bill, which has passed the House but not yet the Senate. 

Henry Olsen, a columnist for The Washington Post, opined in an op-ed this week that the Build Back Better bill won’t pass after all.  

The argument is that the bill’s passage in the Senate depends on the vote of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). Manchin has not indicated that he is likely to support the version of the bill that passed the House in November.  And if a smaller bill supported by Manchin were to pass the Senate, then there’s a chance it wouldn’t get enough support to pass the House. 

CNBC reported last week that Wall Street economists expect that Build Back Better will eventually pass and that it will mean good news for firms connected with infrastructure.  

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, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The 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. 

Image: Reuters