"The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Special Benefits for Certain World War II Veterans programs that affect the lives of nearly every American family. These programs pay out more than $900 billion in annual federal benefits. Program benefit costs are considered mandatory spending not subject to annual appropriations. The SSA requires annual discretionary appropriations to administer these programs and to provide support to the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The President's FY2015 budget request for the SSA's administrative expenses, referred to as the limitation on administrative expenses (LAE) account, was $12.0 billion. The FY2015 appropriation for the SSA's LAE account as enacted on December 16, 2015, by P.L. [Public Law] 113-235, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, is $11.8 billion. This report provides an overview of the SSA's mandatory spending but largely focuses on discretionary appropriations for the agency's administrative expenses. The size of the annual appropriations for administrative expenses affects the agency's ability to effectively administer the SSA's benefit programs and conduct program integrity activities designed to ensure that only eligible persons receive federal benefits."
CRS Report for Congress, R41716