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Our Customer Service Caught the President’s Attention!

February 4, 2016 • By

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Last Updated: November 6, 2023

shawn-lynchThe White House announced winners of the first ever President’s Award for Customer Service, and we’re proud to share that one of our employees received this honor among four other government awardees.

Shawn Lynch, a claims representative from the Dothan, Alabama, field office, was recognized for her superior customer service. Among her many contributions, Shawn led efforts to reduce appointment wait times and increase the number of my Social Security registrations within her office. She also took the initiative to reach out to applicants before their appointments, giving them the opportunity to have their disability claims taken early. Shawn educated claimants on the Self Help PC as well. Furthermore, she showed her commitment to service by taking part in community outreach.

Receiving a prestigious service award, especially from the President, is a great achievement! It exemplifies — to other federal agencies and the nation — our driving mission to provide world-class customer service that meets the changing needs of the public.

We congratulate Shawn on her accomplishment, as well as improving lives within her community! We’re lucky to have such a valuable, resourceful member as a part of the Social Security team.

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About the Author

Doug Walker, Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Deputy Commissioner, Office of Communications


  1. Harold D.

    I have been waiting for more than 3 months to receive my benefits. I am not wealthy. I am a veteran. Why is it taking so long. Does anyone there know where I can get a loan so I won’t starve to death?

    • Ray F.

      First of all, we want to thank you for your service to our country, Harold. We certainly understand your frustration. 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, and how quickly we obtain medical evidence from your doctor or other medical sources. Also, keep in mind that the Social Security Act sets out a very strict definition of disability, much different than the requirements for other government programs including veterans benefits. For security reasons, we do not have access to personal records via this blog. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. Representatives are available 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.
      Some individuals may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which they live. These services include Medicaid, free meals, housekeeping help, transportation or help with other problems. You can get information about services in your area from your state or local social services office. Or you can visit the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) web page for more information. We hope this information helps.

  2. Harold D.

    I applied for Social Security benefits on August 1, 2017 and have been waiting for over three months to receive my benefits. I am not wealthy. I am a veteran. I am having to pawn all of my personal possessions to survive. If I don’t get this resolved this year, I will be extremely pissed off.

  3. Ed R.

    trying to get some forms and i keep getting shifted to comments or such, why can’t i just get what i need and you go to FB to story tell?

  4. Kristy

    It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d most certainly donate to this superb blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to new updates and will talk about this site with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

  5. Maria

    Congratulations! Shawn – I wish we had someone like you here in my local office. My husband has been trying to correct an error in his benefit calculations and it’s an on going struggle. He delayed benefits for a full 24 months and not getting the correct credit and amount. The office rep told him it will probably take 3 months to correct. Well, the 3 months have passed and we are still waiting. It is very frustrating. I’m glad you are as caring as you are and there to help people in your area.

  6. Michael B.

    Only person in Social Security Department that does her job. Great Lady and very thankful that she cared enough to go the extra mile.

  7. June D.

    I know people working at SSA are all working hard. Just that Ms. Shawn really went the extra mile. I pray she is able to share to her colleagues or co-workers her best practices. CONGRATULATIONS! You gotta duplicate yourself, ma’am! All the best!

  8. Dorla C.

    Too bad he didn’t decide to give retirees a raise this year!!! Nothing like holding those who worked all their lives from a small monthly raise each year. I hope the congress and President are all proud of that also!

  9. Moses H.

    Congratulations Shawn, where applicants usually complain about the system and how difficult it is to apply and navigate, it is refreshing to have people like you making a difference. Not only have you made a difference to applicants, but you caught our President’s attention. We are all proud of you.

    Keep up the good work!

    Moses Hernandez

    • Ray F.

      Thank you so much for your kind words Moses. I am truly honored to represent Team SSA and our hard working clients. Helping people is what I love most. The unveiling of SSA’s E-services brought with it tremendous opportunities to assist our well-deserved clients at an ever higher level. Without our clients, we wouldn’t be here nor have a need to be here. I sincerely consider myself blessed to come to work and do what I truly love doing.

  10. Terry L.

    I want to apply for my social security benefits, since I am almost at full retirement age. Your system will not let anyone apply on line, and you cannot get an appointment with social security, even the phone call application, for over a month. I was told not to apply, until after first of the year. Now, I fear the paperwork will not be processed in time. One of the local SS offices, will not even answer the phone. I still work full time, so I cannot go down to the office and wait in line all day. This is really not acceptable. I kept trying to get on line, thinking it was just a glitch, that would be fixed soon, but after 6 weeks of trying to get on, I don’t anticipate you fixing this serious problem, anytime soon. If it is this hard to apply, just how long is it going to take, for the paperwork to be processed. I have worked hard, to get to this point. It should not be this hard to access services that I am paying for !

    • Ray F.

      Hi Terry, we are sorry to hear you are having trouble applying online. The site appears to be up and running, please try again. Call 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Representatives can assist you with your application online. They can also help you schedule an appointment with your local Social Security office. An appointment is not required, but if you call ahead and schedule one, it may reduce the time you spend waiting, and it establishes a protective filing date that protects your future benefits. Generally, it’s best if you call later in the day or later in the week.

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