71 thoughts on “We Observe Customer Service Week All Year

    • Hi Anne, if you’re referring to the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2016, we will know that information later this month, when the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics is announced. As always, we will keep you informed.

      • Hello, I receive SSDI. I find that after I call the SSA I receive different information from different representatives. This creates confusion and uncertainty. It is critical that information given over the phone by SSA is consistent, current and verifiable by each representative. If you all could make steady progress in this area life can.really improve for the disabled and their advocates. Our income is an area where we have the right to feel secure. The SSA represents our country and they must carry out their call with integrity and accuracy. Thanks for providing this platform for problemsolving and otherwise.

        • Your feedback is greatly appreciated, Kai! We are committed to providing the public with the best service possible, and we will continue our efforts to meet your customer service expectations.

      • How can you allow same sex couples benefits when I have been severely disabled for 18 years and social security has never cared or tryed to help me in anyway I have suffered mentally physically and financially so much and no one seems to care why?

        • I don’t care about same-sex couples but I do agree with you about how the SSA is completely biased, discriminatory, dated meaning they’re way behind the times ( do not understand mental disabilities, how detrimental they truly are) corrupt
          • see, because I was intelligent enough to tell myself I cannot take care of myself how what I be able to raise children so I have no children on top of that I’m Caucasian on top of that I’m a mail it’s everything Social Security goes against I’m being discriminated against!
          I don’t understand how these judges get away with what they do making up lies removing evidence adding in or manipulating false evidence…. ???????????
          I’m going stop there …

  1. How do I stop or postpone receiving social security checks until later. I have been receiving ss retirement payments for about 3 or 4 years. I am still working and am 70 yrs Dec 8. Because I am working I have to pay taxes. and I don’t get a federal refund . Is there away that I can stop payments until later? (ss would hold the payments for me).

    • Social security Disability and retirement payment are based on your earnings and what you contributed towards OASDI. The more you contribute the more money you will receive. If you are talking about SSI it’s different because it is not based on your work and earnings. It’s based on need.

  2. What was bought in September by the SS Administration and how much was spent to finish out the fiscal year budget?
    I just found out the State Dept. spent $100,000 on liquor to empty their coffers of our tax dollars!

  3. Apparently Nancy Berryhill, Deputy Commissioner of Operations has never been to the Gardner or Greenfield offices in Massachusetts.

  4. I do not agree. As a former employee, we spoke to whomever came into the office and DID NOT tell them to call 1-800 and set up a telephone appointment. We tried our best to serve the walk in traffic, even when it was not necessarily convenient

  5. Do we get an Increase in Our Social Security Monthly Payments each Year? I have seen online that we should be getting more each month. Thank you so much for all you do!

    • Thanks for your question. If you continue to work while receiving retirement (or survivors) benefits, your monthly benefit amount could increase. Each year, we review the records for all working Social Security recipients to see if additional earnings may increase monthly benefits. The other way your monthly benefit amount could increase is based on the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA), which is announced each year in October. We will know more information about the 2016 COLA later this month. We’ll keep you informed.

  6. My husband , Randall Keith Noll Jr, has been trying for 5 years now to get access to HIS money after developing spinal condition has left him unable to work ANY job. 5 years we have applied, appealed, gone to lawyers, applied through them, and appealed through them.

    Your administration continues to reply that he is able to work, even though he cannot sit, stand, walk, recline or lay on any surface for more than a few minutes without being in severe, debilitating pain. He is on major pain killers and anti-depressants and so cannot work in many fields, and yet you continue to assert that he can work. WHERE? GIVE ME A LIST OF ANY JOB HE CAN WORK IN HIS CONDITION????

    • I have had a disability since the age of 33 and have worked my whole life with them. At the age of I found it more difficult to be reliable in a working position. I have been seeking medical help since the age of 33 and have paid out of pocket for all of my medical bills. I applied for disability got denied saying I could do light work and I appealed it 16 months ago and have not received any word on my appeal. I will admit I am not in a wheelchair but my disabilities are vertigo and migraines. Awful always dizzy never having my balance confused headaches nausea migraines brutal have to stay laying down a lot. Can you help me get a response from the Appeals Council? I have tried calling many times and it is in active review! Please help me to get some answers

      • Hello Rita, we are very sorry to hear about your medical condition. If you are referring to the length of time it takes to get a hearing, it varies. In most states, there are four levels in The Appeals Process, but the amount of time could vary from case to case. We must consider several factors when making a medical determination such as the nature of the disability, how quickly we obtain medical evidence from doctors or other medical sources, and if the claim is randomly selected for a quality assurance review of the decision. We care about our customers and are working as fast as we can. While you are waiting for a hearing or a medical decision, you may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which you live.

  7. I am 77 and drawing SS plus I was also drawing $50 a month for what I believed to be because of my age, but now I am having to pay back $1300 because I am in a training program through Experience Works through the Department of Labor which plainly states that this is not employment. When I finally reached someone at our local office in Denton after calling many times and left messages, they simply said you can not draw SSI if you are working, period.. Just curious…

    • Hi Gloria. Remember that the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program pays benefits to disabled adult and children and the elderly with limited income and resources. When you receive SSI benefits, we take into consideration your income and resources, and the amount of your monthly SSI benefit amount is based on the income and resources available to you.
      If you’ve been informed of an overpayment, and for further assistance in your case, we ask that you continue working with your local office. Or call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday but you will generally have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. We hope this information is helpful.

  8. Social security disability has been essential for us, and life’s unexpected crashes, like being totally disabled from military service. What doesn’t make any sense is why it is a split fund, that is disability and retirement. We paid into only one fund. Our new concern is SSA being united in FY16. Also, it doesn’t make any since why the TSP and SSA are combined accounts. I deposited into both, and could only take from one after I became disabled. OPM, said “upps” we made a mistake, So those “few” of us are paying the price and the OPM is now saying no exceptions because of OPMs error. But, Social Security is here, for now caring for us, thanks SSA

  9. help me with this questionplease when I fi start getting disability and it change to ss they said I were paid io much so the last two years I work I was told I would not be getting that money why I didn’t make this mistake they did and now not steping up to the plate is right.

  10. An organizations definition of quality customer service originates from the expectation of their leadership. Nancy Berryhill is a public servant who has dedicated her life to exceptional work. Thank you for your service and commitment. You make a difference.

    • Thank you for your generous praise Linda. I’ve always felt public service was a noble calling, and over my 40-year career at Social Security I have always strived to serve as a model for others who have chosen to pursue a career in government service. If I’ve been successful and made a difference by having a positive effect on others, I am very gratified. Again, thank you.

  11. I am not on ssi never applied, but am very upset because my mother has worked her intire life now she has a stroke at 56 and for her to receive disability she has to wait 90 days with no income to even be reviewed for ssi. This is awful I am a young woman in America and finding out you work for people to judge when you can get monies you have paid into something for this reason. What about her what is she supposed to do be thrown out of her house and in the street. SSI needs to reevaluate this situation we are little people, but without us little people nothing would be possible. im mad.

    • We can understand your frustration Marsha, and we are sorry to hear about your mother’s medical condition at this time.
      Allow us to provide you and your mother with important information about our disability programs. We pay disability benefits through two programs: the Social Security disability insurance program (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI is a needs based program that pays benefits to disabled people with limited income and resources. The SSDI program pays benefits to disabled individuals providing the person worked and paid enough into the Social Security program before becoming disabled. There are times when people can receive both SSI and SSDI, depending on their situation and whether they meet the requirements.
      Social Security pays only for total disability. No benefits are payable for partial disability or short-term disability. Disability benefits are paid to people who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last one year or more or to result in death.
      The length of time it takes to receive a decision on a disability claim can vary depending on several factors. Primarily, the nature of your mother’s disability, how quickly we obtain medical evidence from her doctor or other medical sources, and if her claim is randomly selected for a quality assurance review of the decision. Typically, the length of time it takes to receive a decision is about 90 days, but the amount of time could vary from case-to-case.
      Your mother may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which she lives, while she waits for a medical decision. These services can include Medicaid, free meals, housekeeping help, transportation, cash assistance or help with other problems. You can get information about services in your area from your state or local social services office. We hope this helps!

  12. Sitting in the Uptown SS office for over 3 hours. They are turning away people at the front door and won’t allow anyone to return if the need to step outside . So….this is how you celebrate “Customer Service Week”…..?

    • We apologize for the long wait, and regret to hear that we did not provide the level of customer service you expected. We care about our customers and our representatives are working as fast as they can to resolve all inquiries, process new claims, and reduce backlogs. Remember, most Social Security business does not require a visit to a local field office. Many services, including applying for retirement, disability and Medicare benefits, creating a my Social Security account, requesting a replacement Medicare card, or reporting a change of address or telephone number are conveniently available anytime at our website. Or, you can also call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) for assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7:00a.m. and 7:00p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. Thanks!

  13. My father passed sunday morning and my mother went into our local SS office in Auburn, CA in an attempt to notify the SSA of his passing. She has never been to this SS office before and saw a large sign with a red arrow that said “Start Here” so she stood there waiting. She said someone eventually approached her and asked what she wanted. She replied that she was there to take care of my father’s business. The man told her to register at the machine (which was hidden behind the large sign, so she did not see it). Then in a very condescending tone he said, “It’s right there” (pointing), then asked her “Do you speak english?” (after she’d been speaking to him without problem up to this point) and she answered “Yes, of course”. Then, continuing in the condescending tone he said “Then, you can work the machine”. My mother then asked if it were possible to make an appointment like at the DMV and he replied, “No. If you dont want to wait then maybe you don’t need to be here”. My mother then told him that he “COULD at least try to be nice” to which he replied that he “isn’t treated very well by people either and people try to badger me all the time.” This behavior towards people that ultimately pay his salary is unwarranted and unprofessional.
    Upon having this reiterated to me by my mother, I went to the office to try to get and name and badge or ID number. I approached the security officer and, in a very business-like tone, asked how I would get the name and or badge/ID of an employee in order to file a complaint. He asked me why and I told him what had happened approximately 20 minutes prior. He informed me that he was not aware of the situation and that it was probably someone at one of the windows and that I would have to register and take a number. He was not cooperative so I left and came home to ask my mother for a description of the person she had the conversation with. As it turns out, it was the same security officer that I related our problem to. There is no doubt in my mind this security officer was well aware that the name and or badge/ID number I was seeking was his.
    So I returned to the office with a piece of paper and a pen, which I had out so as not to raise any concerns with him when I asked for his name and or badge/ID number again. I approached him with paper and pen and said, “I’d like your name and or badge or ID number. My mother says it was you she had the exchange with.” At this time, while I noted a name tag with the name and began to write the name, he said, “I need to search your purse.” I stopped writing and held my purse out and said, “Have at it”. He searched my purse asking if I had any pepper spray or weapons. I replied, “Nope.” I finished writing his name. He then asked me my name. I said, “Lynn”. He asked my last name. I responded by telling him “I don’t have to tell you that”. I started to turn to leave and he said, “That’s ok, I have you in the system.” I left the building.
    Now, if THIS is an example…during “Customer Service Week”…that is supposed to be good customer service EVERY day…someone obviously didnt get the memo. I’ve spoken with two other people that have recently lost a member of their family and had to go to the Auburn, CA SS office and BOTH were familiar with Security Officer for the same reasons.
    I have 42 years (and counting) experience in customer service, many of them dealing with the public, and I guarantee you….this is NOT good customer service.
    Security Officer is in desperate need of a re-train or maybe, if he’s bothered so much by what comes with dealing with the public, a move to a position that does not require him to do so.

    • Please accept our condolences, Lynn, we are very sorry for your loss. We apologize for how poorly you and your mother were treated by the security guard. We have referred your complaint to our Operations staff to follow up and to take corrective action as necessary. We appreciate your feedback, and thank you for bringing this to our attention.

  14. It’s time to get rid of the “medical portion” of SSA. What is the point of them? They clearly don’t understand ailments and day to day stress on bodies. Why are we paying them a salary to receive something we paid money into? It’s ridiculous.

  15. I have an active ongoing case at SSD. My case has been going on for over 4 years now. I have not had the customer service From SSA. I am a disabled USArmy Veteran. I had to apply again in Wyandotte,Michigan.this time I had also applied under financial hardship. I am irritated at SSA. I’m not getting better at all. I’m getting worse. My case is in Lansing , Michigan. Soldiers are getting expedited claims under 100% service connected. They have never explained anything to me about disabled service people. I just want to get my claim over with. This should have been done 3 years ago. The system needs work. I have young people on my street drawingSSI maybe 700.00 a month. I am PTSD and severe anxiety disorder and other problems. I haven’t been taken very seriously yet.

    • Thank you for your comment, George. First of all, thank you for your service to our country. The length of time it takes to receive a decision on your disability claim can vary depending on several factors; primarily, the nature of your disability, how quickly we obtain medical evidence from your doctor or other medical sources, and if your claim is randomly selected for a quality assurance review of the decision. While you are waiting for a decision, you may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which you live. Please continue to follow up at your local social security office, or if you need further information about your claim, please call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week.

  16. I retired this Oct. Until then my wife now 66 years old was covered by my work health insurance. She is on Medicare A but not B. She applied in July for Medicare part B to start in Oct when I retired. That application was apparently lost. She reapplied in Sept. the 9th and I got copies this time of her application and a letter stating she qualified for both part A and B from our local office. Here it is Oct the 9th and she still has not gotten any notice of being enrolled in part B. It has been a nightmare of trying to comply with the rules and law. I do have retiree insurance on her but it is now secondary. What do we do if she has to see a Doctor now? My retiree insurance will not cover until Medicare does. We started this process as soon as possible to make sure it was done at my retirement date. Would just the application serve instead of a card? That is all she has.

  17. Is it possible for me to get any kind of help which i maybe entitled? As of now my primary doctor advised me use wheel chair/power scooter because of my sickness like, stage III kidney failure, asthma, gout, heart problem and diabetis. My pension is not sufficient yet for my living that is why I am asking even just a little bit help. I retired last February 2015. It is because I cannot afford to continue my job because I was suffering for chronic and severe pain from my lower back because of broadbased disc protrusion, severe moderate/severe central canal stenosis and moderate bilateral neural foraminal narrowing. There is also probable compressing on the descending bilateral L5 nerve roots by the disc protrusion as per MRI results last September 17, 2015. Resulted to chronic and severe pain and getting heat and numbness from lower back going down to my both thigh and both legs

    • You did not give your age. if you are not yet full retirement age, call SSA at 800-772-1213 and make an appointment to apply for disability

  18. I am 55, my husband is 71. He has been drawing social security. I have been working most of my life and would like to retire at 62. Can I retire at 62, draw my own benefits, then switch over to his when I am 67 (my retirement age)?

    I left this post before and was never answered.

  19. I filed a 521 request in August 2015, and subsequently sent a check for repayment the first of September to the Mid Atlantic Program Service Center. In October, I received a letter from the Western Program Service Center that indicated if I did not make the repayment within 30 days my request would be denied. Several visits to my local Social Security Office has yielded no results. They refuse to get involved to track the payment and determine if the check was lost, so that I can reissue the check if necessary. Their response has been that the Mid Atlantic Program Service Center can take a long-time to process checks and I should just be patient. I am not sure you can call that Customer Service. They won’t let you talk to a Supervisor and their standard reply is to check back in 30 days. Meanwhile its been almost 5 months since I submitted the request, and my children are not getting their rightful benefit amounts. Not sure how to resolve this situation as the local office indicates that they have no direct contact with either the MidAtlantic or Western program Service Centers, and those centers also do not communicate with each other. It would be helpful to have a process at the State level that would allow you to resolve issues that are not being dealt with by the local Office.
    Thanks

    • We apologize for the delay and inconveniences you are experiencing, Tamara. Unfortunately, but for your security, we do not have access to personal records in this blog. Please continue working with your local office. You should be allowed to speak with the manager to see how we can help to expedite resolution of your situation. If you are unable to visit the local office, you can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778. Representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7:00a.m. and 7:00p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week.

  20. I applied for name-change six weeks ago. My name is still not changed. The local office is refusing to give me any updates on phone and wants me to personally come, which I cannot do because of the driving distance. In addition, why am I required to go in person??? The letter I received when I applied mentions that I call and if I do not get the card in ten days.
    The 1-800-772-1213 number rep ask to “contact the local office where you applied.” This is just height of “passing the buck” and irresponsibility.
    Can anyone check and see why I have not heard anything yet?????????????????????????????????????

    Is there a phone number with whom I can talk who will actually try to give me the update and resolve the issue?

    -Dr. Patel

    • We apologize for the inconvenience, Dr. Patel. Typically, after we receive your application and verify your documents, we process your request and you should receive your replacement Social Security card by mail within 10 business days. In some cases a face-to-face interview is required to complete processing your request for a replacement Social Security card. Please call 1-800-772-1213 to make an appointment with your local office. An appointment is not required, but if you call ahead and schedule one, it may reduce the time you spend waiting. Representatives at our toll-free number are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. We hope this is resolved soon. Thanks!

  21. Thank you. We called the local office again and this time a nicer person picked up the phone who did tell us the reason. She said, “Your application has been re-submitted for processing” but could not provide any detail as to why that was done (That was not shown on her computer). She did not say that we needed to come there for any reason. She could not tell how long we have to wait. We are still confused as to what we need to do.

    Thanks in advance for any further help.

    • We are glad our representatives were able to help. It seems that you should receive your replacement Social Security card by mail within 10 business days. Please continue working with your local office if you have specific questions about your request.

      • After several phone calls, we found that your local office had “resubmitted” (for god knows, what reasons) on February 11. So, it’s been 13 days since then and no news from social security.

        So, it seems that once we stand in line for hours, apply in-person and then the application goes into a black hole. It’s been seven weeks and no reply about what happened with my application. This is height of irresponsibility and unaccountability.

        Is this agency not supposed to keep us informed?? I know that you are part of this agency, but is it something that YOU can do by contacting you via phone to find what is happening with my application??

    • Hi Christine, even if you have never worked under Social Security, you may be able to get spouse’s retirement benefits if you are at least 62 years of age and your spouse is receiving retirement or disability benefits. If you are divorced, you may still be able to get benefits on your ex-spouse’s record. For information on the requirements for Divorced Spouse’s Benefits, read “If You Are Divorced.” Click here for information about repayment of your federal student loans. We hope this information helps.

  22. I have school loans at 60 because I went back to school. I helped my kids with their education as well.
    Does this mean I will not receive any of the Social Security my spouse receives?

  23. I am on SSDI I would like copies of all my records(all information) that SOCIAL SECURITY has in there possession. I moved from Illinois to Minnesota does that mean that my records are in two different places?If you could send me the correct address of the places I need to write to. Thank You

  24. Is there a way that I could get a meeting or at least an email address or phone number. I’ve been having major issues both on the phone and in person with SSA representatives. I f you answer no to my question, I’d completely accept that. I will not accept you asking me to explain the situation so you could direct me to who you think best will resolve my issue.
    I thank you in advance for your yes or no answer.

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