Why I Serve

August 13, 2015 • By

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Last Updated: August 19, 2021

A local office Social Security employee helps a person fill out formsOn the eve of Social Security’s 80th anniversary, we want to share a personal moment with you. We usually talk about the services we offer, and why we believe offering these services is important to you and our nation.

We seldom get the opportunity to speak about our employees – those who stand behind the desk, behind the computer screen, or on the other end of the calls to our toll-free telephone service. Social Security employs more than 62,000 men and women nationwide.

Our employees’ duties range from taking a retirement application, to designing the signs posted on the walls of our field offices, to creating and editing thousands of publications, to designing and maintaining our vast computer network. Our team does this with a common goal of serving America by providing services to our nation’s most vulnerable citizens in times of personal hardship, transition, and uncertainty.

In the past few months, we asked our employees to share why they serve. Their answers, often expressed in heartfelt narratives, almost universally contained one sentiment.

I serve because I enjoy working with our public and because the services we provide matter.

Our greatest satisfaction comes from knowing that the people who need our benefits most – retirees, people with the disabilities, children, and families – receive the help they need. Social Security continues to give Americans hope and support with expanded programs that offer more than even President Franklin D. Roosevelt envisioned 80 years ago, when he signed the Social Security Act into law.

Tomorrow, we celebrate the anniversary of our program. Today, we celebrate the thousands who bring that program to life every day.

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About the Author

Doug Walker, Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Deputy Commissioner, Office of Communications


  1. rochelle w.

    Thats funny because my daughter who has Cerebral Palsy doesnt get treated with this type of respect or assistance. We got letter changing her SSI by over 180.00 with no explanation The office number listed is general number and you need name or extension in order to get somebody. The letter doesnt have a name or extension to remedy situation. She has no changes nor has she had an changes that would cause this to occur. The letter approving her for next year dated November 25 would lines what she is approved for based on a formal interview was not that long ago. Therefore, nothing changed how is that happening. Who knows , nobody returns calls, nobody can answer at general customer service line they direct back to local office. My daughter lives over 50 miles away to closest office. This is just horrible service and quality of care.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Rochelle. We are sorry to hear about your daughter’s experience. Unfortunately, your daughter’s situation is a bit more than we can handle in this forum. For her security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community to continue to work with our offices with specific questions. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. Generally, you will have a shorter wait if you call later in the day. You can also contact your local Social Security office. You can ask for a manager on your next visit or call. If you wish to submit feedback related to your experience, visit our Contact Social Security page. Once there, select the “Email Us” link. This will take you to the “Email a Question to our Support Team” form, where you can complete and submit a compliment, complaint, or suggestion. We hope this is resolved soon.

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  3. Sarah

    If I speak with a social security specialist and they are rude and disrespectful, who can I talk to? I’ve always had good experiences, but there is one worker that was absolutely crude to me. Is there an ombudsman or other complaint avenue?

    • Ray F.

      Hello Sarah. We apologize and we regret to hear you are having difficulties with one of our representatives. Remember that you can request to speak to a supervisor, if you do not receive the level of customer service you expect. To submit your comment, complaint or suggestion, you can write to us or send us an email message. We appreciate your feedback, and thank you for bringing this to our attention.

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  5. Amanda W.

    I fought for several years back in 1994 or 1995 for my son, he was born with the right frontal lobe of his brain missing and was classified as being Autistic, with ODD, PDD, Separation Anxiety Disorder ect.. Any how The judge told me he doesn’t qualify but if his Asthma worsened then I should re-file. And I tried to, But because I wasn’t married to his father, Then went off of my income not his Father’s there fore My son doesn’t qualify. And Then in 1998 I believe my health took a turn for the worse. I filed in 2001, got denied filed in 2004, denied 2006 denied. Finally in October of 2008 I was granted. However they took my benefits away in September of 2010, Because someone in their office didn’t post my information correctly. I’ve been going back and fourth with them for about 5 years now. I’ve contacted Government , Congressman, Senators Councilman and a Civil Rights Person at City Hall. I was threatened by 3 people at my local office to pay $10,000, or be investigated go to prison and loose my son. I even have Mr. Tatrault the Supervisor on recording laughing at me saying you can reapply but we’re not going to give it to you. I’ve even written the President who his not happy with what they did to me that day. Mr. Tatrault had sent letters to everyone above telling them I lost my benefits in 2014. That’s a LIE. I have proof of that. Someone from that office has been cashing my checks and it sure as hell wasn’t me. I had direct deposit, so yea I would know. So recently, I was told to file a request for reconsideration due to my recent health issues on top of the other ones as well. I suffer from blackouts which come on out of the blue, I suffered 2 blows to my head, their are no warning signs for this it’s called Syncope. I have memory loss real bad now, and recently in July I had to have a pace maker out in and wear a monitor. All of this is from St. Judes. It’s been 3 weeks since I sent off my request form and so far no one has responded. I refuse to walk back into my local SS Building, who found that bullying and threatening and taking away checks from a disabled person was so amusing that they’ve managed to keep it going this long. I tried to contact the OIG, the ADA, DOJ and Compassionate Allowances, I just kept getting passed around in a circle with no answers. But what I find most disturbing is the our local SS building has blocked my access to their site. Everyone stood around and watched and yep they blocked me, but other people that were here had no problem logging in. Maybe They Should be investigated. I filed 2 Discrimination reports, they to like me got swept under the rug. I didn’t ask for these health issues, no more than my son asked to be born Autistic. Where were our rights. I thought The Government had people to help people who couldn’t fight for them selves? But Not One Person Fought for us. Oh by the way a Federal Court Judge Harry C. Dees JR. found me to be indigent and any claim SS had against me was waived. So I should have been re-instated, not having to go through this hate crime all over again. Sincerely, Amanda

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