September 13, 2022
SSA Adds Safety Measures to Protect People Facing Long Wait Times, Adverse Conditions
When the Social Security Administration (SSA) reopened its offices for in-person appointments many beneficiaries and applicants faced long waits outside in the summer heat. Over the past several weeks, the agency has taken several steps to implement safety upgrades to address the problems.
For offices where outside lines are necessary, Social Security is providing access to bathrooms, water fountains and, in some cases, fans and outdoor canopies. The agency is rearranging its waiting areas to allow more people to wait in its air-conditioned offices. In addition, SSA is expanding the use of mobile check-ins for appointments, allowing people to wait in their cars or other places nearby.
SSA is also referring customers for quick express interviews or for same-day or future appointments; checking to make sure visitors have the necessary information and documents; providing drop boxes for documents; giving workload assignments to offices with less walk-in traffic; assigning volunteers to busier offices; rehiring retired employees; and increasing overtime for busy offices.
The SSA office locations which have had the most people having to wait outside include Orlando, Carrollwood, Perrine and South Miami in Florida; the Twin Cities in Minnesota; Southwest and northwest Houston and Pasadena in Texas; and Las Vegas.
“SSA personnel are doing all they can despite very challenging circumstances with inadequate resources,” said Robert Roach, Jr., President of the Alliance. “Additional funding for SSA would also go a long way in addressing these dangerous situations.”