Bennet Urges Biden Administration to Address Social Security Benefit Delays for Coloradans

Washington, D.C. — Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet called on Social Security Administration (SSA) Commissioner Martin O’Malley to prioritize customer service and swiftly resolve pending Social Security claims and applications for Coloradans. Bennet’s letter comes ahead of Commissioner O’Malley’s testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance later this week. 

“Social Security is – and should remain – a rock-solid guarantee we owe to America’s retirees and individuals with disabilities,” wrote Bennet. “However, the program is not working for everyone.”

Over 925,000 Coloradans rely on Social Security benefits and thousands more are preparing to go through the process of determining eligibility. Yet, many Coloradans face extended wait times and decision delays while seeking benefits, undermining confidence in the Social Security system. 

The text of the letter is available HERE and below.

Dear Commissioner O’Malley:

I write at the outset of your term as Commissioner of the Social Security Administration to urge you to prioritize customer service and swiftly resolve pending Social Security claims and applications. Over 925,000 Coloradans rely on Social Security benefits, and thousands more are preparing to go through the process of determining eligibility. Social Security is – and should remain – a rock-solid guarantee we owe to America’s retirees and individuals with disabilities. 

However, the program is not working for everyone. My office receives frequent calls from Coloradans seeking assistance as they navigate Social Security. Extended wait times and decision delays for those seeking benefits are unacceptable, and undermine Coloradans confidence in the Social Security system. After decades of hard work and payment into the program, Americans deserve to enjoy these benefits without added hardship or undue burden. 

Before 1935, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law, the United States stood alone among other industrial countries for its lack of a social welfare system. With the passage of the Social Security Act, we declared that age-related poverty should be an anachronism, that children and those living with disabilities should be provided for, and that workers should be insulated from economic forces outside of their control. It established the country’s first retirement safety and national unemployment compensation program, provided aid to the states for a range of health and welfare programs, and created the Aid to Dependent Children program. 

As President Roosevelt remarked when signing this legislation, the Social Security Act introduced a system able to “take care of human needs and…provide the United States an economic structure of vastly greater soundness.” This promise, made almost 90 years ago, must be kept. As Commissioner, I hope you will emphasize the delivery of these benefits – a sacred trust – to Coloradans who have spent their working lives contributing to the program. 

Thank you for continued attention to this important matter, and I look forward to working with you to ensure Social Security serves the needs of all Coloradans. 

Sincerely,