As the Social Security Administration (SSA) begins transitioning back to providing full, in-person service at its more than 1,200 field offices for the first time in over two years today, it still expects large crowds, long waits, and continued service delays.
The SSA recommends that customers avoid delays and long waits by calling ahead to schedule an appointment, but has also warned the public that they may experience busy signals or dropped calls.
In a new letter led by Ways and Means Republican Leader Kevin Brady (R-TX), Subcommittee on Social Security Republican Leader Tom Reed (R-NY), and Subcommittee on Oversight Republican Leader Tom Rice (R-SC), Committee Republicans are urging Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) to hold a hearing to examine these challenges.
- In the more than two years since the Social Security Administration (SSA) closed its offices to the general public, the Ways and Means Committee has not held a single hearing to examine how the SSA will improve the service it provides to the American public.
- The SSA’s offices have generally been closed to the public since March 17, 2020, and in the more than two years since, backlogs and wait times have continued to grow.
- Since the SSA closed its offices, Americans across the country have struggled to access SSA’s services, resulting in missed or delayed benefits, lost or missing documents, improper payments, and even homelessness.
Background: The SSA has continued to struggle to provide remote service to the American public. Making matters worse, the SSA continues to experience phone outages that further limit the public’s ability to contact the SSA.
Ways and Means Republicans have been asking the SSA for its plans to improve on the access and quality of service that it provides to the public for months, most recently in a February letter focused on how the SSA plans to manage the quality of service that it provides to the public as it reopens and ensure that enough employees are on-site to meet the public’s demand for in-person services. The SSA has yet to provide a substantive response.
For those having difficulty, more information on how you can contact the SSA is available here: https://www.ssa.gov/coronavirus/gethelp/.