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Ways and Means Leaders Urge Social Security Administration to Safeguard Health and Minimize Disruptions Amid Coronavirus Crisis

March 19, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC – House Ways and Means Committee Republican Leader Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA), along with Social Security Subcommittee Republican Leader Tom Reed (R-NY) and Chairman John B. Larson (D-CT), Worker and Family Support Subcommittee Republican Leader Jackie Walorski (R-IN) and Chairman Danny K. Davis (D-IL), sent a letter to Social Security Administration (SSA) Commissioner Andrew Saul calling on SSA to continue their work to prioritize health and transparency in an effort to minimize disruptions as they administer vital services during the coronavirus crisis.

“We know the decision to close SSA field offices…was a difficult decision. … This move will save lives and will also protect the health of SSA frontline staff, whose public service is so critical,” the lawmakers wrote.

“We understand that as coronavirus spreads, you are prioritizing work that fulfills SSA’s core mission,” the lawmakers continued. “We fully support this prioritization.”

“We are writing to urge the Social Security Administration (SSA) to vigorously safeguard the health of the public and agency employees during the coronavirus crisis, while also minimizing disruptions in services to the American people,” the lawmakers continued. “Telework is a commonsense response to coronavirus and we urge you to maximize its use across SSA. In addition, we encourage SSA to communicate regularly and robustly with the public and with its employees about SSA’s coronavirus response. Social Security is a program that affects the lives of all Americans. As SSA’s response to coronavirus evolves, the public must be able to count on timely information about how to access benefits and services, including assistance when a problem arises.”

The members emphasized that that they stand ready to work with the agency to ensure it has the resources and authority it needs to operate effectively during the crisis while ensuring SSA remains able to send benefits on time each month.

Full text of the letter is available HERE.