Jun 20, 2014

Social Security Has A Massive Service Delivery Problem

     From a report by the staff of the Senate Select Committee on Aging (footnotes omitted):
The impact of these service reductions [at Social Security] has been felt in field office waiting rooms and on the phone. In March 2013, SSA [Social Security Administration] estimated that in a single week nearly 12,000 visitors to field offices would have to wait over two hours to be served, a figure that had almost tripled in the previous four months. Between FY [Fiscal Year] 2010 and January of FY 2013, the average wait time for field office visitors without appointments increased by 40 percent. NCSSMA [National Council of Social Security Management Associations] reports that in FY 2013, the percentage of visitors who waited over three weeks for an appointment was over 43 percent, compared to only 10 percent a year earlier. According to NCSSMA, as of early 2014, the average wait time for visitors to SSA’s field offices was 31.5 minutes, an all - time high and 240 percent longer than it was three years ago.
From FY 2011 to FY 2013, the agent busy rate experienced by callers to SSA’s 800 - number increased from 3 percent to 12 percent, with SSA projecting that in FY 2014, 14 percent of callers would get a busy signal when they tried to call. In the beginning of FY 2014, 800-number callers who were able to get through were waiting an average of over 17 minutes – more than three times as long as the average waits of five minutes in FY 2012, according to NCSSMA ...

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