Disability, History, Online Services, Retirement, Survivors

We Observe Customer Service Week All Year

October 5, 2015 • By

Last Updated: October 5, 2015

A woman behind the counter smiles at youDuring Customer Service Week–10/4-10/9–we have the wonderful opportunity to highlight a top priority for us at the Social Security Administration. From our humble beginnings in 1935 when Franklin Roosevelt signed the original Social Security Act into law, customer service has been a part of our DNA. As much as Social Security has been a part of the fabric of America for the last 80 years, so too has been our long standing tradition of delivering courteous, responsive customer service to people of all ages who come to us for assistance, often at a critical juncture in their life.

From the courteous service provided by a small group of Social Security employees when the first office opened in Austin, Texas in 1936 to the more than 45,000 frontline employees who today provide exceptional customer service at over 1,400 local community-based offices around the country, Social Security has never wavered in its long-standing commitment to focus on the needs of the people we serve. We recognize that we are the face of government in the community for most people, and we welcome that role with a steadfast dedication to deliver the kind of customer service that the people of this Nation expect and deserve from their government.

Certainly, the needs and expectations of our customers have changed over our rich 80-year history. While in the early years of the program most government services were handled in person and most transactions were done on paper, today modern technology has allowed Social Security to adapt our service delivery model to meet the higher expectations and demands of a growing customer base.

For example, in the 1980’s Social Security was one of the first government agencies to offer nationwide toll-free telephone service at 1-800-SSA-1213. Last year, the toll-free telephone service handled over 60 million calls, proving that 3 decades later it is still a viable, convenient customer service option for many individuals. Today, as more and more Americans expect and demand more convenient service options, we provide options for the public to utilize the Internet to quickly and securely conduct their Social Security business online at www.socialsecurity.gov. It’s become such a popular option that more than half of all retirees now file for Social Security retirement benefits online from the comfort of their home or office.

A more recent customer service feature allows both current workers and current beneficiaries to create their own personal mySocialSecurity account to access and manage their Social Security records. More than 20 million individuals have created their own mySocialSecurity account, and the feature is so popular that a new account is created every 6 seconds! While Social Security is recognized today as a leader in customer service and has five of the top-rated government online services, including some rated higher than those offered by leading private-sector companies like Amazon and Apple, we are not resting on our laurels. From testing video technologies to enable individuals to conduct business face-to-face with us remotely, including from the comfort of their home, to adding real time online customer engagement tools like “click to call back” or “click to chat”, Social Security is constantly seeking better, more convenient ways to improve the customer experience.

There is one thing, however, that will not change—our commitment to the customer and giving every individual the choice of how they want Social Security to serve them.  Whether someone elects to use one of our convenient and secure online service options or they choose to come see us face-to-face at one of our community-based offices, they can expect to be treated to exceptional service because we celebrate customer service week every day of the year, not just for one week. Our 65,000 employees are passionate about public service and are dedicated to preserving the legacy entrusted to us 80 years ago.

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Deputy Commissioner, Operations


  1. Linda Grantham

    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!

    • Ray Fernandez, Public Affairs Specialist

      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.

  2. Jan R

    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

  3. David in MA

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

  4. MJean

    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!

  5. Gregory Latimore

    why are disability payments smaller sometimes

    • MsKena

      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.

  6. Geneva jones

    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).

  7. juanita l. diggs

    Thank you for your service.

    • Nancy Berryhill, Deputy Commissioner, Operations

      Thank you Juanita. I feel extremely fortunate to work for the Social Security Administration and have the opportunity each day to make a positive difference in the lives of so many people.

      • alice french

        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?

        • kevin

          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 …

  8. Alan Chau

    Nancy, we love you. Keep up the good work. Thank you !

    • Nancy Berryhill, Deputy Commissioner, Operations

      Thank you for the kind words Alan. The real heroes at Social Security are the employees on the front lines who remain committed to delivering compassionate customer service every day to those individuals who come to Social Security for needed services, often at a traumatic time in their life.

      • Maria

        Why do you sign your paperwork Social Security Administration instead of the actual worker or unit and put a contact number on the letter.

  9. Chris ford

    Hope your raising ssa this year!!! How do we keep up with all bills going up up up???

  10. Anne Beliveaux

    Is there going to be a COLA increase in 2016 for Social Security? Thank you in advance for your feedback.

    • Ray Fernandez, Public Affairs Specialist

      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.

      • Kai

        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.

        • Ray Fernandez, Public Affairs Specialist

          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.

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