General

We Want to Provide You with Timely, High Quality, and Accurate Service

November 22, 2022 • By

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Last Updated: November 22, 2022

Social Security Administration LogoSocial Security Administration (SSA) employees demonstrate an unwavering commitment to serving the millions of people like you who turn to us for help each year. However, we cannot keep up with the demand for service and our annual fixed cost increases like salaries, rent, and guard services. The bottom line is that we need more funding to deliver the services you expect and deserve, whether it’s requesting a new Social Security card, applying for benefits, or the many other services we provide.

The Biden-Harris Administration asked Congress for a funding anomaly of $800 million higher than our fiscal year (FY) 2022 budget, as we started FY 2023 in October without a full year budget. The additional funding would have allowed us to maintain level service by hiring employees, funding our fixed cost increases, funding information technology (IT) projects, and allocating enough overtime to handle workloads, provided there is not an unexpected and significant increase in demand for our services and programs.

Congress provided us with $400 million, which provides enough funding to cover our fixed cost increases only through December, overtime at FY 2022 levels, and continuous hiring at the start of FY 2023. However, it is not enough to cover the full year fixed cost increases or to maintain the hiring and overtime levels beyond December to improve service. On the other hand, the FY 2023 President’s budget request of $14.8 billion for SSA – a $1.4 billion increase over our FY 2022 enacted level of funding – would allow us to improve customer service and offer the service experience you deserve.

We have faced years of underfunding. We are currently operating with approximately 4,000 fewer employees since prior to the pandemic – a 7% drop, since we have not had the funds to hire the level of staff needed. We are also experiencing historically high levels of employees leaving the agency, because employees are carrying unreasonable workloads given the staffing shortage. As we lose employees, our service further deteriorates. You feel the effects of our staffing shortage. You are waiting an unacceptable average of over six months for a decision on an initial disability claim and over 30 minutes to speak to a representative on our National 800 Number.

Our employees strive to provide you compassionate and timely service but cannot do so without a budget that allows for significant improvement. Without additional funding in FY 2023, we would be forced to freeze hiring, cut overtime, and cut funding for our IT investments.

It is critical that we have the resources to restore staffing losses and continue our important IT investments or face years of deteriorating services that you will not and should not accept. We must be able to provide timely and quality service to everyone who depends on us.


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  1. Tom

    This is self serving and not verified. You can save some money by ending this guys employment as adding minimal contribution to the mission. For the record, I am underpaid.

    Reply
  2. Jane D.

    This is informative thank you however, waiting 2 to 3 years to be approved for SSDI is truly unacceptable. Especially when we’ve paid for 35 years through our paychecks with our employers, demanding on-time payments, or employers being penalized. And the government earning interest for all of those years on our hard earned money that supposed to be utilized for this very purpose! State of California, the government can offer funding to all sorts of organizations and reasons for it. The atrocity happens when people are losing their homes. Losing their lives, filing bankruptcy, and their health, becoming worse as a result of all the stress trying to survive while waiting. Paying penalties to other government entities for things like DMV or back taxes because the other government entity has no funding to do their job? And the government can offer things like mortgage really funding for late payments and probability of many of those people waiting to be approved on SS or SSDI? Isn’t that a bit of an oxymoron providing funding to homeowners who can’t make their payments on their homes for one time only during Covid because the other government entity can’t get their job done fast enough? Perhaps instead of supplying the $2 billion offered for mortgage relief funding they could’ve offered 1 billion of it to Social Security administration to get them to do their job more efficiently or how about this how about screening the deadbeats who didn’t work all their life in a need or claim they want funding instead of keeping the money from the people who paid into it all of their career who do need it from what I understand United States is the most stringent on allowing people to collect Social Security disability and yet we have people dying waiting to be approved. What does it take? Seriously I’m about to lose my home after 30 years I’ve never been, this broke or broken in my life!!! Waiting waiting waiting in limbo. Draining my savings account for two years now. Well now there’s nothing left. No savings just a a Home were my children were raised by a single mother, who fought through her illnesses to provide for them, and now after 30 years facing losing that very home because SSDI wants to whine about not having enough funding tired of employees to cover all the cases in a timely manner. This is not something new. This is been going for years!! The denial game with SSDI forcing people to get an attorney to be approved so that employees can buy time to cover cases. If it’s such a problem, why isn’t the government providing funding that’s needed to hire people to do the job I don’t feel sorry for the leaders who operate Social Security administration!!! I feel sorry for the families that are struggling, trying to hold on to their lives who are dying from the added stress of paying bills and losing their homes and their savings accounts, with nothing left from their hard earned work, for the future and to provide for their generations of families! But this comment won’t get posted because it’s the truth! Why don’t you hire some people with empathy, and change the rules and guidelines, and get rid of your lying doctors who are only hired, paid, and placed in your offices to prevent you from being approved? Just dragging it out on purpose, maybe if you followed through on one case, instead of setting in the back burner things might glow faster! Maybe somebody needs to examine the structure and how the paper flow works. Maybe there needs to be some new fresh ideas on streamlining the paperwork. The reports are ridiculous to read contacting doctors is not a priority, maybe restructuring job positions and responsibilities to streamline the paperwork! Maybe get rid of the 80 year olds that are trying to use old methods to do new work, putting them on Social Security, and bring in some new technology. I disagree with the comments about people who work in the offices I’ve gone into offices here in Southern California, where they were nothing but rude and see people gathering in the back of the office laughing sitting around doing nothing, while people are waiting at the door to be let in by some rude guard demanding some stupid password treating people like they’re all liars. Even the ones in wheelchairs. It’s ridiculous. This whole article is ridiculous wanting pity get your shit together get some of that mortgage relief funding have the government go after lenders who are only after peoples homes, put a moratorium on foreclosures for people who are on a waitlist for SSDI put a moratorium on penalties from the IRS in the state and the DMV for people who are waiting on SSDI to be approved and how about giving the people who work their asses off all their lives especially single mothers, the benefit of the doubt that they’re actually telling the truth, and that all the stress in their life has destroyed their health, while they’ve worked through their medical issues and only making matters worse for when they aged and how to sit on hold waiting in limbo while social security administration, denies or approves the application one more time forcing somebody to get an attorney it’s ridiculous. It’s a tangled web for bureaucracy as what it is it’s not a pitiful situation for this government entity. Our government and our leaders want to help the human race and help Americans where there is inflation and suffering of unemployment from Covid, and struggling to keep them in their homes, and yet they are the very reason that every person who applied for SS OR SSDI, who’s health only declines more as a result, that desperately needs those benefits
    is in that position to begin with!!!

    Reply
    • Amelia A.

      I agree How dare the government expect empathy out of this article?
      Where is the empathy for those who are suffering while they wait?!
      Where did you list the strategies and improvements in streamlining the paperwork? Where is the accountability and quality control for over paid and under performing employees?
      And where in the hell are all those govt leaders who want to keep us in our homes? and help us during inflation? and aid the elderly who have no income? while they are dying from the stress waiting to be approved!!??
      Social Security SSDI are not doing everything in their power to fix this and they at least 20 years when one of my family members waited for three years after applying for Social Security disability… so where does all our payroll tax money go for the last 40 years if we can’t get our hands on it when we need it

      this is the most dysfunctional uncaring organization of government entities that exists in the concerns of human welfare and funding! – aside,of course sticking, noses where they don’t belong providing military funding and planning where billions dollars and lives destroyed for no reason and no positive results because you can’t fix ignorance. What? texted you a ton of pictures at times I texted you I texted you the day before yesterday. Pictures or broken. has also been a waste money for 20ys where issues are none of our business or concern in Third World countries !

      Money needs to go where money is desperately needed for humans and animals to survive in this country!!!
      Spent thousands training dogs who were left behind, four-legged soldiers, the true front liners shame on our government

      Reply
  3. GEC

    First, I have to say that the team in Oakland, CA and Richmond and on the phone have been very very helpful and I am grateful for their advice and direction, and I have had some issues of my own doings.

    Second, I can understand your struggles, it is true in all industries – difficulty in hiring.

    Third, I can understand some of the challenging comments to your article as well.

    Somehow, you all have the challenge of justifying the request for money, during this recession. For all the reasons you shared but also being/showing that you are efficient and effective. What are you KPI (key performance indicators – how do you measure success; quick simply customer feedback – 2 questions with a comment area)? Are you achieving them. A dashboard showing us all the good and the bad and plans to move forward on the website.

    And again, I applaud you with my experience with your team.

    Reply
    • Joseph B.

      I disagree the SF Regional SSA office in Richmond, CA. They enable the corrupt San Diego OHO to violate the law and retaliate when being alerted. They have enabled thousands of mistrials and millions in government waste. They allow staff to be harmed and should be thrown in prison for their crimes.

      Reply
  4. Vikram

    Nice and very informative article
    hitmindia.com

    Reply
  5. Mahmoud q.

    I believe the SSA employees deserve a good paycheck because they’re working on a sensitive issues. So they should be in a good mood to do the job

    Reply
    • Donald E.

      Yeh right! The pandemic has been over for a year and your all still at home in your pajamas watching tv and sipping coffee! Your out of your minds! My girlfriend works in one of the offices and she says workers, when in the office before the pandemic watch TV on their phones all day and do only the minimum work the can do. Your all a bunch of money sucking lazy people.
      If anything you should be getting a pay cut! No traveling cost or clothes purchases and lunch money spent.
      Give it up lazy goverment workers
      Americans are fed up with your crap and are not going to support you one bit.

      Reply
      • Phyllis

        Amen!!
        I agree
        I saw that too, in one of the offices 11am, 4 women in the back, drinking coffee, laughing, while at the guard at the front door would not let us in! And the office was empty. They were still practicing pandemic, policies way after the mask mandation was lifted, and all I wanted to do was drop envelope in the box for Case worker that never return my calls and I could not get in to do that. He harassed the woman in front of me, and he harassed me for a password that I was given by one of those women earlier in the morning that he claimed it was the password from the week before didn’t believe that I called that office that morning. I had to go to my car and get my phone to prove that I called that office.
        Just ridiculous.
        We are not treated like humans were treated like lab rats. Let’s see how upset we can make this person before we can show our big muscles!
        I pointed to the top of the building and said this says ‘social’ ‘security’
        on the building
        There is nothing here that proves the definition of either one of those words because it’s neither social and it offers zero security

        Reply
      • jane

        Amen!!
        I agree
        I saw that too, in one of the offices 11am, 4 women in the back, drinking coffee, laughing, while at the guard at the front door would not let us in! And the office was empty. They were still practicing pandemic, policies way after the mask mandation was lifted, and all I wanted to do was drop envelope in the box for Case worker that never return my calls and I could not get in to do that. He harassed the woman in front of me, and he harassed me for a password that I was given by one of those women earlier in the morning that he claimed it was the password from the week before didn’t believe that I called that office that morning. I had to go to my car and get my phone to prove that I called that office.
        Just ridiculous.
        We are not treated like humans were treated like lab rats. Let’s see how upset we can make this person before we can show our big muscles!
        I pointed to the top of the building and said this says ‘social’ ‘security’
        on the building
        There is nothing here that proves the definition of either one of those words because it’s neither social and it offers zero security

        Reply
  6. Pat V.

    People have been getting laid off from the technical industry jobs from businesses that are gaining their companies’ profits because of inflation. Unfortunately, without enough employees, federal taxes cannot be paid to add to the federal system. And, the unemployed cannot afford to help the suggested GoFundMe idea.

    Reply
    • Phyllis

      Omg! Go fund me?!? Lol 😂
      Might as well go sit in front of the grocery store with a cup!!
      Where in the hell is the money we paid into from our payroll taxes that’s what I wanna know

      Reply
    • Pvb

      Omg! Go fund me?!? Lol 😂
      Might as well go sit in front of the grocery store with a cup!!
      Where in the hell is the money we paid into from our payroll taxes that’s what I wanna know

      Reply
    • Pvb

      Omg! Go fund me?!? Lol 😂
      Might as well go sit in front of the grocery store or Walmart with a cup!!
      And B E G !!!
      Where in the hell is the money we paid into from our payroll taxes for 35 years!!! And why can’t we access it when we need it ?!?
      we had to pay into it on time why don’t they have to do the same ?!
      That is what I wanna know!

      Reply
  7. John

    Have you considered starting a GoFundMe? Accepting donations from the public?

    Reply
  8. Ellen

    Thanks, President Biden and Vice-President Harris. I hope this funding request comes through. I have found the SSA employees to be very helpful and professional and it is a shame if they leave for the reasons listed above. Good customer service is hard to find nowadays and I appreciate their hard work.

    Reply
    • John M.

      Local social security offoce is in a nice new building. I have only had to go to the office one time. I was seen pretty quickly, thst was above expectations. The person that I saw was nice enough but knew nothing about social security only what form to hand me.
      Perhaps if the government made their websites more user friendly and their instructions clearer instead of in politician/lawyer speak theybwould not have to deal,with so many people.
      The government sets low expectations and does not encourage initiative. This is why if you have anything more than a basic question the local offices are not always the best way to go.
      That said, the people I have encountered in my social security journey were always helpful and polite. They likely are doing the best job they can within the bureaucracy box theybare in. I am all for paying people a good salary to perform a professional service. However it is not the qualitynof the facility or the number of people they have that causes government agencies to provide less than adequate service mostbof the time. It is their failure to fully understand and use the tools they have.

      Reply
  9. Randy

    Load of (unmentionable). People are leaving and You can’t hire people because of the Biden admin and congress inflating the economy by printing too much money and rhetoric regarding people “deserving” higher wages without more work, accuracy, and dependability. Learn to work within your means and motivate your employees like a real business and not a triggered liberal socialist regime.

    Reply
  10. T. A.

    Very informative. Let’s hope the funding needed comes through.

    Reply
    • John M.

      Very informative? Why are theyboperating with 4000 fewer employess? Not a single government worker was fired or forced to retire due to covid, even if they refused to,get vaccinated.
      What IT investments do they plan? Government goes with the lowest bidder and the purchasing people are not technical people. Which is why the government is operating with equipment and software thatbis sometimes 20 years old or older.
      Everybgovernment agency wants more funding no matter the economic realities. Have you ever heard of any government agency asking to have their budget cut?
      Congress wastes billions of dollars in just the last 8 years on idiotic and partisan investigations which did nothing. Lets not forget that the the working man’s friend in the whitehouse voted to tax social security, twice.
      Perhaps if the president and the legislature were not so focused on taking money from people they could have reduced the spending on the IRS and instead spread that around to other agencies.

      Reply

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