From a story in the Missoulian about a town hall meeting that Senator John Walsh (D-MT) held in Missoula:
Mary Olson, who worked for the Social Security Administration for 29 years and now works for Missoula Aging Services, told Walsh the plan to move the program entirely online in 11 years, called “Vision 2025,” is destined for disaster.
“The majority of rural America does not know how to use an online system, and it won’t work,” she said. “There is no simple part of Social Security. I wasn’t a social worker, but I became one working for the Social Security Administration. There are so many twists in the system. Even something as simple as putting in what date you want your benefits to start is extremely complicated if you don’t know all the information.”
Olson recalled the story of one woman who didn’t realize she was eligible for $700 a month more in benefits because she had been married 40 years earlier.
“These are people that are facing end-of-life issues, they are destitute and they aren’t getting the benefits they need,” she said. “That’s a travesty in my opinion.”
Olson said that SSA supervisors are poorly trained.
“There’s no quality control or accountability any more,” she said. “Back 10 or 20 years ago, we were focused on customer service. You couldn’t be rude with somebody. It’s all different now. The SSA needs a look, like the Department of Veterans Affairs got. It’s time to look into it, because the same things are going on.”