Social Security to Expand Field Office Hours Nationwide

Social Security announced today that effective March 16, 2015, as a result of Congress’ approval of the fiscal year 2015 budget, the agency will expand its hours nationwide and offices will be open to the public for an additional hour on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.  Offices will continue to close to the public at noon every Wednesday so employees have time to complete current work and reduce backlogs.

“This expansion of office hours reaffirms our commitment to providing the people we serve the option of top-notch, face-to-face assistance in field offices even as we work to expand online services for those who prefer that flexibility,” said Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security. “The public expects and deserves world-class customer service and thanks to approved funding, I am pleased we will continue our tradition of exceptional service.”

For more information about Social Security’s decision to expand field office hours, see our press release.

Please share this information with your members, colleagues, affiliates, and other interested parties.


Faces & Facts of Disability: Share Kira’s Story

Please help us dispel misconceptions about Social Security disability insurance by sharing this powerful video with your colleagues and audiences.

The video relates the story of Kira, a 34-year-old woman who lives with cerebral palsy and works part-time to supplement her modest monthly Social Security check. As with most people who receive Social Security disability benefits, her payment barely covers her basic needs. The video includes sobering facts about critical safety net Social Security provides and puts a real face to the often misunderstood statistics.

After watching the video, select "Share" to place it on your website, include in your social media posts, or distribute by email.

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To learn more about the Faces and Facts of Disability and how you can help, visit our website.


National Disability Coalition IdeaScale: How Can Social Security Identify Medical Improvement at the Earliest Opportunity?

“How can we better determine whether the medical condition(s) of an individual who receives disability has improved and is no longer disabling? For example, are there specific medical conditions we should review more frequently or other factors we should specifically consider?” This is our current topic for the National Disability Coalition's IdeaScale engagement. The question has been rephrased for clarity based on comments. We would like to hear your thoughts on this very important issue. You can comment by visiting our IdeaScale engagement site.

We encourage you to participate either by providing your own comments, voting on others’ comments, or responding to another’s comment.

If you have any questions about the topic or need additional information, please contact us at oea.net.post@ssa.gov.

To learn more about the National Disability Coalition, visit us online.

Please share this information with others in your organization and networks.

Note

IdeaScale is providing hosting services for this discussion forum under an agreement with Social Security. We do not endorse any non-government websites, companies, or applications. The website does not follow the same privacy, security, or accessibility polices of Social Security. IdeaScale’s policies apply to your visit to the IdeaScale website.

Social Security does not guarantee or warrant that the information posted by individuals on the IdeaScale forum is correct and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information.


Vision 2025 Survey: Help Shape the Future of Customer Service at Social Security

Social Security is developing a long-range vision and strategic plan, called Vision 2025, and we want to hear from you.

Vision 2025 represents our efforts to ensure that we continue to provide excellent service to our customers today, tomorrow, 10 years from now, and beyond.

We would like you to participate in an online survey to tell us how we can best serve the American public in the future. The survey should only take a few minutes to complete.

Please help us spread the word by letting your members, associates, and colleagues know about this exciting opportunity to help shape the future of customer service at Social Security.

Here's how you can help: Complete our survey and tell us how you would prefer to conduct business with us in the next 10 to 15 years.

We will also be promoting this survey through Facebook and Twitter, and we invite you to share or retweet these posts. We look forward to your opinions and ideas to help us serve the public in the coming years.


New Video Introduces the Faces and Facts of Disability

Faces and Facts of Disability

I am pleased to announce that we have added an informative new video to our Faces and Facts of Disability website.  This important public awareness campaign is helping us dispel misconceptions about the Social Security disability program and demonstrate its critical importance through the personal stories of individuals who receive benefits.

Our newest video explains how the disability program is an insurance program that protects individuals who have paid Social Security taxes while working. It also explains the role of this vital social safety net in the lives of millions of severely disabled Americans.  In the words of one featured beneficiary, “If I did not have Social Security, I would lose my home; I would not be able to drive; I would not be able to afford groceries.”  Contrary to the misconception that disability beneficiaries are ”cashing in,” the average disability payment is barely enough to keep a person above the current poverty level, providing only one’s basic needs.

This is just one of many plain facts about the Social Security disability program presented in this short, yet illuminating, video.  The video includes a number of eye-opening details about people of all ages who receive disability benefits, and the critical difference these modest payments make in their lives.  It also highlights our zero-tolerance policy toward fraud—and our deep commitment to ensuring that we pay disability benefits to the right person, in the right amount, at the right time.

To view the new video, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/disabilityfacts and click on Faces and Facts of Disability Video.


Social Security Resumes Mailing Social Security Statements

We are pleased to announce that, beginning this month, we are resuming periodic mailings of paper Social Security Statements to workers age 25 and older.  Even though most workers will receive a mailing every 5 years, we encourage everyone to create a secure my Social Security account at socialsecurity.gov/myaccount, which will allow them immediate access to their online Statement anytime.

The Statement is a valuable financial planning tool providing workers with important individualized information regarding their earnings, tax contributions, and estimates for future retirement, disability and survivors benefits.

Please read the full press release, including a statement by Social Security’s Acting Commissioner, Carolyn W. Colvin, here.

Thank you for your continued support as we strive to keep workers informed about Social Security.  Please help us encourage all workers to sign up for a my Social Security account to regularly review their earnings record and obtain estimates of future benefits for themselves and their families.


Social Security News on Debt Referral Process

You may have read recent news articles related to the Social Security Administration recovering debts from tax refunds under the Treasury Offset Program. In 2008, there was a change in the law that eliminated the statute of limitations related to the Treasury Offset Program. This change allows Federal agencies to refer debts that are more than 10 years old to the Treasury Offset Program for collection. Our agency takes a number of steps to notify individuals of potential adverse actions before attempting to recover delinquent debts.

To be clear, Social Security does not refer the following to the Treasury Offset Program:

  • Children with overpayments established prior to the age of 18,
  • Debt that previously belonged to a parent or other relative, or
  • Deceased debtors.

We just wanted to let you know that pending a thorough review of our responsibility and discretion under the law to collect these overpayments, our Acting Commissioner, Carolyn W. Colvin, has halted further referrals of debts that are 10 years old and older to the Treasury Offset Program.

If any Social Security or Supplemental Security Income beneficiary believes his or her tax refund has been withheld incorrectly to recover an overpayment under this program, we encourage the individual to request an explanation or seek options to resolve the overpayment. Inquiries may be directed to our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call our toll-free TTY number, 1-800-325-0778.
You can find Acting Commissioner Colvin’s statement concerning this issue at www.socialsecurity.gov/pressoffice/pr/2014/acoss-statement-pr.html.

Please let your colleagues and members know of this important development. As always, we appreciate your ongoing efforts to help us serve the American people.