Social Security field offices are scheduled to remain closed through the end of March. Meanwhile, mail is piling up and telephone wait times are excruciating. Between Covid disruptions and budget cuts, service at SSA has never been worse. Thankfully, SSA’s automated systems seem to be working, and clients who apply online for benefits are having no trouble. But widows, who must apply for survivor benefits in person, are facing delays, as are disability applicants and anyone else with an unusual question or request.
How is all this affecting your clients? Write to us at email@example.com or post a comment as a new question in our Q & A Forum to let us know what your clients are experiencing in their interactions with SSA. How are they dealing with the slow service? Let us know.
Meanwhile, see this article by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities calling for a large funding boost for SSA. The agency’s operating budget fell 13 percent in inflation-adjusted terms from 2010 to 2021, even as the number of Social Security beneficiaries grew by 21 percent. It’s time for a big cash infusion to both restore service and update increasingly antiquated IT systems.