With no Congress approved budget for the upcoming year, many recipients of Social Security disability benefits, and the Social Security Administration itself are holding their collective breath. The administration often reaches out to Americans through their various social media outlets including a Twitter and Facebook account, as well as a frequently updated blog entitled, “Social Security Matters.”

Last week, the administration addressed the uncertainty and questions regarding their status and efforts to stay active by admitting that budget cuts have affected their efficiency. Despite this hurdle, they remain confident and hopeful that they will be able to keep serving Americans to the best of their ability.

The Social Security Administration provides benefits for more than 60 million Americans, yet it only employs 64 thousand employees who handle millions of transactions weekly. It goes without saying that the administration is understaffed. Even today, they are operating with funding 10 percent lower than 2010, adjusted for inflation. During that time, beneficiaries have increased by 13 percent. As they admit, “we have fewer resources to serve more people.”

What does this mean for you? Although their current situation may appear bleak, it should come as a reminder for you not to wait and if you believe you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income, there is no better time than now to get moving and apply. It is important to not let the process overwhelm or discourage you from applying. The sooner you apply the sooner you will have an answer, and the sooner you may receive the necessary benefits to provide some financial relief in your time of need.

Source: Social Security Administration, “Value,” By Doug Walker, Jan. 9, 2017