DI 39503.020 How the Budget Process Works
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. The estimate is determined by the number of claims all agencies are expected to receive, as projected by the SSA actuary for the fiscal year, the workpower needed to process the claims, and an analysis of all other operating costs. State agency budget and operating data are prime inputs to the estimate.
About 15 months prior to the beginning of the fiscal year, the SSA appropriation request undergoes departmental review and becomes a part of the HHS request. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) reviews the request about 9 months before the start of the fiscal year. It then becomes a part of the President's budget which is submitted to Congress approximately 9 months prior to the start of the fiscal year. The President's budget then goes through Congress' legislative authorization process (subcommittees, hearings, etc.).
An apportionment-allotment process begins when Congress enacts the HHS appropriation. If no final appropriation is passed prior to October 1, then funding for the fiscal year may be restricted to an amount no higher than the rate of spending demonstrated in the last quarter of the previous fiscal year if Congress passes a “continuing resolution.” The Office of Management and Budget apportions the SSA salaries and expenses appropriation to SSA, including an apportionment for DDS operations. SSA central office, in turn, allots to each regional commissioner funds for his or her regional DDS's. The regional commissioners are then responsible for issuing individual DDS funding allocations.