Social Security to enhance customer service by shifting around funds
There’s a new sheriff in town, and he’s hiring people to work at Social Security, as Mark Miller, a journalist and author specializing in retirement and aging, writes in this piece in MarketWatch. Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul, who was sworn in last June, acknowledged nearly a decade of cuts to the agency’s administrative budget. This has forced field offices to close, staff cuts, and long delays on the toll-free line plus an enormous backlog of disability insurance claims. Social Security will reopen field offices nationwide on Wednesday afternoons starting on January 8, restoring closings put in place in 2012.
The agency will bring on 1,100 new employees to provide service on the national 800 number (1-800-772-1213) and in its processing centers, where paperwork is handled. The agency is currently on-boarding 100 new processing center employees and approximately 500 new teleservice representatives for the 800 number. More hires will be made later in 2020. But all of this occurs under flat funding, so it is unclear if the changes can be permanent. Read Miller’s full piece here.