SSA Takes Steps to Improve Customer Service and Wait Times at Field Offices
Nov 22, 2022
Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) November 22, 2022 – The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced plans to improve customer service and reduce wait times amid complaints about long lines in the extreme summer heat at field offices in Florida and across the United States.
The SSA reopened field offices in April after more than two years of closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mounting concerns about the safety of applicants and beneficiaries waiting in long lines at SSA field offices prompted congressional lawmakers to seek answers from the federal agency in August.
SSA Acting Commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi issued a response on August 30 outlining the actions the agency is taking to reduce wait times and improve conditions for customers. Kijakazi wrote that the long lines outside field offices were the result of the SSA’s physical distancing rules. She said the agency planned to update the policy as it tries to resume normal operations across 1,200 sites.
“The SSA has struggled with a backlog of disability claims and operational challenges since before COVID-19, but it seems pandemic-related protocols have made things more complicated,” commented attorney David Magann, a Florida Social Security and disability lawyer. “The agency must take urgent steps to ensure customers have access to the Social Security services they need without the frustrations of long wait times. Individuals with disabilities should not be forced to deal with long lines, often in severe weather.”
Among the changes the SSA plans to introduce include providing drop boxes for the quick submission of documents and separating customers who need an express interview from those who require an appointment. Other steps consist of rearranging air-conditioned waiting rooms to allow more people to enter indoors and expanding the use of mobile check-ins to expedite appointments.
Outside lines are unavoidable at certain field offices. In such cases, the agency plans to add fans and canopies, along with providing access to water fountains and restrooms. The SSA also aims to address staffing issues by ending telework for certain staff, increasing overtime, recruiting volunteers for busier locations and rehiring retired workers.
Kijakazi’s letter to lawmakers shared details on which SSA field offices more frequently experienced long wait times between April and August 2022. According to the data, 216 out of 1,200 sites had more than 40 customers waiting outdoors at 9 a.m.
There were 4,461 such occurrences during those months, and the majority of those took place in Florida, Texas, Arizona and Nevada. Among Florida field offices, Orland, Carrollwood, Perrine, South Miami, Hialeah, Little Havana and South Broward had the highest number of waiting customers.
Learn more at http://www.floridasocialsecurity.com/
David W. Magann, P.A.
156 West Robertson Street
Brandon, FL 33511
Call: (813) 657-9175
18715 N Dale Mabry Hwy
Lutz, FL 33548
Be Aware of How You Could Lose Your Social Security Benefits
1.Cessation of Disability: Usually a “cessation of benefits” occurs when you are not seeking regular and continuing treatment for the medical problems in the original determination for the grant of benefits. Also, if you are able to make enough money to pass above a certain threshold earnings amount, then you’ll stop getting disability benefits. For […]
NEW IMPAIRMENT LISTING IN FULL EFFECT & APPLICABLE TO ALL ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS IMMEDIATELY
NEW MENTAL LISTINGS Effective: January 17, 2017 After a revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), and thousands of public comments later, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has published significant revisions to its mental impairment listings. SSA had issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making in August 2010, proposing what at the time appeared to be […]
SSA is Heading For Delays Again After Recent Cutbacks & Years of Improvement
Service Cuts, Computer Problems Cloud Social Security’s 79th Birthday: The Social Security Administration should have reason to celebrate. After all, August 14, 2014, marked the 79th anniversary of the day when President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act, which ushered in the landmark entitlement program. However, the agency’s birthday was a less than cheerful […]
SSA is Ramping Up Disability Reviews in 2014
The Social Security Disability Benefits Reform Act of 1984 (“DBRA 1984”) was passed by a unanimous, bipartisan vote in the House and Senate (99-0) in September 1984. President Reagan signed the law on October 9, 1984, when it became Pub. L. No. 98-460. One of the main provisions required “medical improvement” before benefits could be terminated where […]
Never Allow A Non-Attorney to Represent You At Your Social Security Hearing!
You should NOT have a non-attorney clerk at your hearing? This seems obvious, but several Florida law firms and any company identifying themselves as “Experts”, some who are advertising on TV, are sending non-attorney clerks to Social Security Hearings simply because its cheaper for them to do so rather than have an actual attorney appear. How in […]
The post SSA Takes Steps to Improve Customer Service and Wait Times at Field Offices first appeared on Law Firm Newswire.