Nov 30, 2018

Legislation Introduced On Field Office Closures

     From a press release:
In the wake of this year’s closure of the Mitchell Street SSA field office in Milwaukee, Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-04) introduced H.R. 7146, the Maintain Access to Vital Social Security Services Act of 2018, which would require the Social Security Administration (SSA) to operate a sufficient number of fully staffed field offices, as well as set up a review process for their closure.
     With Democrats in control of the House of Representatives this sort of bill could get a serious hearing. There will probably be quite a number of House Social Security Subcommittee hearings next year and they'll be very different from what we've seen over the last eight years. Sure, there have been hearings on office closures with the GOP in charge but, come on, we knew ,and Social Security knew, they weren't serious. It will be different with Democrats in charge. Yes, the Republican controlled Senate can block passage of stand alone legislation on field offices but something like this could easily get put in some must pass legislation such as an appropriations bill with enough money behind it to make it practical. Remember, there will be a lot of GOP Senators from purple states up for re-election in 2020.


Anonymous said...

OK, so it passes, still no funding for it, which is behind the closure in the first place. This is the hollow meaningless legislation that has gotten us into this mess and does an incredible amount of nothing to fix it, just make a bigger mess.

Solution is easy here. Put more in the SSA budget.

Wow that was hard.

Where is that crowd of angry senior and disabled rioting in the streets to get this taken care of?

Anonymous said...

Agree with 9;35.

Mandating that an office stay open is meaningless if there are no funds to pay the expenses for keeping that office open.

The Feds need to seriously reform the budget so that vital services like SSA get properly funded.

Anonymous said...

There are many good reasons for field office consolidations and closings. Building and rental cost being the most important. Also guard service has added a lot to the cost. Changing area demographics, internet applications, call centers, telework, loss of staff. These decisions are well thought out. The NIMBY spirit hinders efficiency and progress.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone else tried to file an internet SSDI application recently? There are two options. Create a mysocialsecurity account or file an application that requires authentication at a field office to prevent identity theft.

The mysocialsecurity accounts require one to answer questions that individuals of above average intellect have difficulty with and also requires an email address to authenticate the account. The average retiree and disabled person needs assistance with this.

This brainchild requires more, not less involvement with field offices.

Anonymous said...

11:52 provides a ton of "good" reasons for consolidation. Improved service to the public is obvious by its absence. I'd classify all the stated reasons as Agency focused reasons. I don't see any customer focused reasons. Perhaps some are inferred, but the explicit ones are all about the Agency. SSA-focused, and none are about the customeror customer focused. I think that is telling. Efficiency and progress from an agency perspective, not the public's.

Tim said...

5:34 PM. I had partially filled a new out and didn't record the reaccess number (or lost it). I had to go to the FO so they could look it up, so I could finish it. For some devices, you need 2 devices to put the code the send you in. If you check your e-mail to get the code, myssa reprompts you to send a code and the one you just got is useless. It is obviously set up for a computer, but what if your computer is old and "broken" by spyware? As for closing of offices... There are a lot more FOs in some states than others. The northeast, in particular, has relatively more than elsewhere. The Milwaukee one, is just one of 4 in the metro area (3 Mil + West Bend) The average person makes few trips to SSA... I would rather have fewer offices with better service. What does it matter if you save 15 minutes of travel, but have to wait 1-2 hours or more on horrible, pain escalating chairs? But fewer FOs doesn't necessarily mean better service!