TN 10 (02-02)
DI 39501.030 The Budget Process
1. Fiscal year funding
The federal government operates on a fiscal year cycle, which starts on October 1 and continues to midnight September 30. SSA begins development of its fiscal year appropriation request 21 months before the fiscal year begins. Approximately 17 months before the beginning of the fiscal year, an estimate of what the DDS's will obligate for the fiscal year is built into the appropriation request.
Approximately 9 months prior to the start of the fiscal year, the SSA budget becomes a part of the President's budget submitted to Congress. The President's budget undergoes the Congress' legislative authorization process (subcommittees, hearings, etc.).
When Congress passes SSA's appropriation timely, SSA receives its annual funding allocation prior to October 1. The Office of Finance, Assessment and Management (OFAM), Office of Budget (OB) issues an allotment advice prior to October 1 to the Office of Disability and Income Security Programs (ODISP). This allotment provides funding for DDS operations. ODISP passes this allotment advice to the Office of Disability (OD), Division of Field Disability Operations (DFDO), Resource Management Branch (RMB) which in turn issues a funding allocation to each region. Under this process, the amount of the funding allocation for each region is determined based on the submission and review of the DDS Annual Spending Plan. (See POMS PM 00203.000 for instructions on preparing the DDS Spending Plan.)
2. Funding under continuing resolution
Continuing resolutions are signed into law to permit budget authority to Federal departments and programs until regular appropriations acts are enacted. Generally, when operating under a continuing resolution, funding is restricted to no higher than the rate of spending demonstrated in the last quarter of the previous fiscal year.
When operating under a continuing resolution, the OB provides an advisory national funding level to ODISP for interim DDS planning based on the latest budget review and consistent with recent experience. This advisory figure reflects the level of probable funding that will be available for DDS operations through the period covered by the continuing resolution.
Actual funding of DDS operations will depend on the amount of funds available to SSA and the period of time for which SSA is able, by law, to obligate funds. In the absence of an annual budgetary allocation, SSA will not be able to provide the DDS's the authority to obligate funds beyond the time or spending limitation required by any continuing resolution of Congress.
3. Failure to pass appropriations
If Congress fails to pass regular appropriations or continuing resolutions or if the President fails to sign or vetoes any type of appropriations legislation, nonessential activities of the Federal government may be forced to cease for lack of budget authority.