Statement from Kilolo Kijakazi, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, about Agency Accomplishments

December 18, 2023 • By

Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Last Updated: December 18, 2023

A photo of Kilolo KajakaziAs we approach the end of 2023, I am reflecting on all that the Social Security Administration has accomplished, despite considerable challenges. It’s been my great privilege to lead Social Security’s approximately 60,000 employees for the past two and one-half years, and I’m so proud of the work they’ve done to fulfill our mission.

For more than 85 years, Social Security has provided income protection for retirees, adults and children with disabilities, and families who lose a wage earner. In order to pay benefits, we also issue millions of Social Security Numbers (SSN), maintain the country’s wage records, and more. The scope of what we do is enormous, and we are proud to serve the public every day. Despite our recent history of chronic underfunding, Social Security remains among the most trusted agencies in the Federal Government.

Social Security’s top priority is, and always will be, working to provide high-quality, timely customer service.  Social Security employees deliver approximately $1.4 trillion in benefits to more than 70 million people each year. Each week, our employees serve over 500,000 people in over 1,000 offices across the country.

Despite insufficient budgets, we have prioritized business, policy and technology improvements to serve you better. For visitors to our local field offices, we expanded mobile check-in and instituted an online scheduling system for people who need an appointment for a Social Security card. We also updated our check-in kiosks to make them more accessible and improve the overall check-in process.

Our redesigned website, launched in December 2022, is easier to navigate, more task-oriented, and offers more self-service options and increased digital services, making it easier for people to apply for benefits and replacement SSN cards. Customers can start—and often complete—their SSN card requests and applications for certain benefits online, and our new Office of Transformation recently introduced an online tool that will allow customers to electronically sign and upload certain documents. These improvements allow millions of people to complete their business online quickly and securely, saving time for our customers and freeing up more time for our employees to help customers with more complex needs in-person and process more cases.

Despite these efforts, the combined effect of the pandemic and chronic underfunding have taken a toll on our employees. It has led to high attrition and backlogs. Our budget directly drives the level of service we can provide. Bottom line, we need enough well-trained employees to ensure we can meet your needs. New hires are necessary to begin to reduce growing backlogs and improve service. I am pleased that the funding we received in fiscal year (FY) 2023 allowed us to hire nearly 8,000 employees in the past year, but we must be able to maintain this staffing level. Using targeted strategies, we have also reduced the backlog of hearings to a 21-year low and began to address the backlog of initial disability claims. With sustained and sufficient funding consistent with the President’s FY 2024 budget request, I’m confident that we can build on our progress and retain the best qualified workforce.

We continue working to improve equity and access for all customers through partnerships and policy initiatives. Our newly established Office of Native American Partnerships is piloting mobile services by sending SSA employees to health facilities in remote locations and improving video service delivery in Tribal communities. We’ve also worked with the Biden-Harris Administration and other agencies to promote Economic Impact Payments, the Affordable Connectivity Program, and Child Tax Credits, so our customers could learn about and benefit from these programs without affecting their Social Security benefits or Supplemental Security Income payments.

To make it easier for people seeking benefits from Social Security to obtain legal representation, we increased our representative fees for the first time in 13 years and conducted outreach to the unrepresented to help them prepare for hearings. We are simplifying our disability redetermination and overpayment notices so they’re shorter, easier to understand, and less burdensome for our customers. We also made significant progress toward simplifying our rules around in-kind support and maintenance and past relevant work, in order to reduce burdens on both applicants and employees. We developed Social Security’s first comprehensive Limited English Proficiency policy to help customers with little or no understanding of English access our information and services. Further, we regularly meet with advocates, experts, and other external stakeholders to listen and gather feedback on our efforts to continuously improve.

Social Security remains a trusted program and agency, one that the public increasingly relies on. We’ve added at least 8 million more beneficiaries in the past 10 years alone. It’s imperative that we can sustain and support our workforce, improve our customers’ experience, communicate clearly with the public, and hone our policies and procedures to provide the service the public expects and deserves. With sufficient and sustained financial support from Congress, Social Security can continue to build on our accomplishments in 2024 and many years to come.

Did you find this Information helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

Tags: ,

See Comments

About the Author


  1. Randy

    Interesting….. all these “wonderful” accomplishments, and all I hear is underfunding. So, reprioritize your funding to better meet, what appear to be according to your claim, more important goals.

  2. Kathy S.

    Meanwhile, while everyone is patting themselves on the back, hundreds of thousands of disability claims sit. Most folks applying for disability can no longer work, and are living in abject poverty. A recent random sampling of a homeless encampment in Phoenix, AZ identified that over 40% of the people living there had at one point become disabled, applied for disability and ended up homeless because SSD is so unresponsive to those in need. Another subculture is the ‘vehicular homeless’, people who have a tiny income, enough to keep an old car alive, to live in. Many of them waited on a disability application that never got properly handled, and they live out of food banks, and cluster together at night for safe sleeping, till the cops run them out. Many states only provide social services to families with children. Our elderly are all but forgotten, our war Veterans, former single mothers, etc. If you are one of these, or someone who has become disabled by Covid, you are out of luck. You are among the Forgotten. I was interested to find out from my European friends, that America is looked down upon, not just because of our politics, but because America treats it’s citizens so poorly. But, to hundreds of thousands of refugees who have been purposefully lied to and manipulated, America is the last chance. Nope, turn us over, this pig is done.

  3. David T.

    Madam Commissioner:I have contacted SSA twice concerning removing my Medicare payments from my SSARetirement Benifits. The first time in December 2020 and most recently in February of 2023. I do not need Medicare as I am 100 per cent P&at from the Veterans Administration. They take care of all my needs. I want my Medicare payments removed but your Administration has not even acknowledged my letters I have never received any kind of response. Please help.

    • David K.

      David T., here is the form you need to remove Medicare. I too wanted the deductions stopped as I retired overseas and I now forget who helped me with this, but Medicare doesn’t want you to know since they are automatically taking your payment from Social Security. Whether they admit it or not, it is a form of theft. You will never recover those thousands of dollars.

    • S.D.

      Thanks for visiting our blog, David. We’re sorry to hear of your situation. To drop your Medicare Part B, you’ll need to submit a signed request or a completed CMS-1763 form, Request for Termination of Premium Part A, Part B, or Part B Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage, to your local Social Security office. If you still need assistance, please call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., or your local office. We hope this is resolved soon.

  4. Connie S.

    Concerned with social security recipients? I beg to differ. You have billed me for an overpayment in the amount of $9,000, for something that was clearly negligence on the part of your administration. As the appeal process continues, the amount continues to grow. I should not be responsible for your errors from 8 years ago. Your incompetence should not be my responsibility.

    • K A.

      I have been fighting for my SSDI for 3yrs. I had a hearing in October & still haven’t received an answer. I need some money coming in. I’m about to lose everything I worked for. I meet all of the criteria’s listed on your website. Which states that I shouldn’t have been denied. Now I’m only going to get maybe a year back pay.
      As a US citizen…I worked..saved & now I’m broke. Fixing to lose my house.
      I raise 2 kids without any help from the state or government helping me. Now I need you to return the favor…I’m screwed.
      I need surgery that I can’t afford.
      I’ve called & no one can help me…it’s out of everyone’s hands.
      How can you do this?
      Merry Christmas to you…it’s not going to be Merry for me.

  5. Matt

    “Trusted Program, agency’? Ok well not that I have gotten that, I with claim of overpayment. Stop doing that, literally overpaying or making a mistake with the claim that some one has been overpayed. As my one condition won’t get better in the medical sense with Hearing loss, it actually got worse over time as I waited and finally got SSI for my left ear. Totally deaf there now and profound hearing loss in other. CCR’s are not helpful, especially when it feels threatening.

    • Matt

      CDR’s I meant.

  6. Karen R.

    I have always found Social Security staff to be professional, caring and patient, despite heavy work loads and continued underfunding the changes you are making support older adults as they go through the retirement process. It is one of the most effecient, effective services offered by the government and is so vital for our seniors. Our organization wants to see more funding for Social Security so seniors can receive increases beyond the annual COLA.

    Karen Reside
    Long Beach Gray Panthers

    • About C.


  7. Meredith

    Thank you to all the SSA personnel for keeping the wheels of this agency running smoothly despite difficulties. Blessings of the season and we look forward to a great 2024 for America.

  8. David F.

    To Madam Commissioner & all staff,

    I am and will forever be grateful to Social Security for the work they did and continue doing for me and all the people who depend on this blessing.
    I was disabled after an assault, causing brain damage.

    It is an extraordinary agency, managed incredibly well and consistent results. When Social Security says is going to do something, believe me, you can take their word to the bank. It is amazing how they handle so much with so little by comparison to other agencies that are well funded and a disaster.

    Thank you again madam Commissioner for a job well done and please hang in there because times are getting harder and we need you there for as long as you consider possible without sacrificing your own health and time with your love ones.

    May The Father our Creator bless you and your loved ones as well as everyone who is part of this agency, for what you do and I pray He may continue to protect you all till the end of time..


    David F.

  9. Mike

    All my experiences with SS have been good. I have been collecting for 10 years. I am impressed how well things work considering the size and political influences. Keep up the good work.

  10. Bev B.

    The people are snotty and don’t care. You say i was overpaid but I received so many different letters can tell yall don’t know what you are doing.

Comments are closed.