Employees Score More Telework Days At Least For Now
In many cases, SSA employees will have access to more telework days than they did before the pandemic and before former Commissioner Andrew Saul implemented divisive cuts and cancelations to the program for portions of the agencys workforce in late 2019 and early 2020.
I was pleased to see that SSA had listened to the concerns that AFGE had raised with respect to the ability of employees, the overwhelming majority, to not just maintain productivity but also exceed prior levels of producibility while teleworking during the pandemic, Rich Couture, president of American Federation of Government Employees Council 215, said in an interview.
Council 215 represents hearings and appeals employees at SSA. Couture called the planned telework changes a very positive first step, and a leap in the right direction but said he still has several questions about the agencys reentry plan that havent been answered.
Its unclear, for example, how SSA arrived at the Jan. 3 date for employees to begin returning to the office, Couture said.
We have questions as to why the work-from-home-by-quarantine policy will be eliminated when the very circumstances that led to its creation are still in existence, he said.
SSAs reentry plan describes how it will continue to coordinate safety protocols with the workforce. Mask, vaccine and cleaning procedures will remain in place, and SSA may continue to set occupancy limits in offices depending on local guidelines, according to the plan.
Rep Ted Budd Demands Social Security Offices Reopen To Serve Constituents
Washington, D.C. — Today, Rep. Ted Budd sent a letter to the Social Security Administration demanding that they fully reopen their field offices for normal in-person operations.
The letter details the struggles of real constituents in North Carolinas 13th District to underscore why it is imperative that North Carolina’s seniors and disabled citizens are able to receive timely in-person services from SSA employees.
The full text of the letter is below:
Dear Dr. Kijakazi and Mr. Kelley,
I write to you following up on the disappointing response Dr. Kijakazi provided to me and my colleagues on November 2. In that letter we called on the Social Security Administration to resume normal in-person operations. Thus far SSA has failed to do so.
Dr. Kijakazi indicated one barrier to reopening is negotiating with the American Federation of Government Employees, and that conversations are ongoing. Meanwhile, my constituents and citizens across the country are waiting to have their casework issues resolved. While I recognize the Social Security Administration must follow certain union requirements, those commitments are not an excuse to sideline my constituents needs. Vaccines are widely available and the rest of the country is emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic. It is time to fully reopen all SSA field offices.
Collins Colleagues Urge Social Security Administration To Reopen Field Offices To The Public
Washington, D.C. U.S. Senator Susan Collins and 14 of her Senate colleagues urged the Social Security Administration to immediately reopen their field offices to the public after being closed for nearly 21 months. Last month, Senator Collins joined 42 of her colleagues in sending a letter to the heads of the Office of Personnel Management , the General Services Administration , and the Office of Management and Budget to request immediate action to transition federal workers back to in-person operations.
Social Security is a bedrock of our nations social safety net, especially for our nations seniors aged 62 or older who comprise more than four-fifths of all Social Security beneficiaries, wrote the Senators. On March 17, 2020, the Social Security Administration suspended in-person services because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This suspension created a disruption to the millions of new applicants and beneficiaries receiving Social Security benefits.
On behalf of the nearly 70 million Americans who receive benefits from SSA, we reiterate the need to reopen the field offices as quickly as possible. Our nations seniors and beneficiaries of SSA programs deserve no less, the Senators continued.
- Challenges for individuals, especially seniors in rural areas, who do not have reliable telephone or Internet access
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I Had A Scheduled Appointment What Do I Need To Do
Date: April 14, 2020
If you already have a scheduled appointment, we will attempt to contact you by phone at your appointment time and/or reschedule for a telephone appointment.
Note: Scammers may try to take advantage of this situation. Remember that our employees will never threaten you or ask for any form of immediate payment.
Group Of Senators Pushing To Reopen Social Security Offices
BANGOR, Maine -A group of Republican senators including Senator Susan Collins of Maine is calling on the Social Security Administration to reopen its field offices to the public.
Collins said today that the closure of the offices for more than 20 months has taken a toll on residents who need to access Social Security services.
The administration stopped in-person operations at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The senators said the closure has been especially difficult for older residents in rural areas.
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Restrictions On Telework And Confusing Vaccine Rules For Visitors To Ssa Offices Rankle Union Officials Who Have Demanded To Bargain Over Employees Reentry To Their Traditional Worksites
The Social Security Administration announced last week that its employees tentatively will be expected to return to their traditional worksites in January, although some elements of the agencys plan have perplexed and rankled union leaders.
The agency unveiled its reentry plan to employees Friday, setting a target date for employees to return to facilities of Jan. 3. Although that day will mark the end of the agencys maximum telework posture that it has held since March 2020, employees will have greater access to telework than prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as before then-Commissioner Andrew Saul restricted the workplace flexibility both in 2019 and 2020.
The amount of telework available to employees varies depending on where they work within the agency, although all who worked remotely during the pandemic will be eligible for at least episodic telework. While many headquarters staff will be allowed to telework up to five days per week, most employees in the Office of Hearings Operations will be restricted to between three and four days per week, while field office workers will only be able to work remotely twice a week.
The plan also includes provisions to scale back in-person work if COVID-19 cases spike in a particular region. The agency said that it will monitor the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions community transmission metric for each of its facilities on a weekly basis.
Manage Consent Preferences
Can Ssa Help Me By Phone
Date: June 29, 2020
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are asking the public to first try to use our before calling us.
Although our offices are not providing service to walk-in visitors, our employees are answering your calls. You can find the phone number for your local office by using our Field Office Locator and looking under Social Security Office Information. The toll-free Office number is your local office.
You may also call our , where you may be able to take care of your business by using one of our automated telephone services without having to wait for a telephone agent. If you need to speak with an agent, be aware that wait times may be longer than usual, which is why we encourage you to try our online services or call your local office first.
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An Important Update To The Goldberg Kelly Payment Continuation Period
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it more difficult for Supplemental Security Income recipients to file a request for reconsideration within the time required to qualify to continue their benefits. The pandemic has also impacted Social Securitys ability to receive and process these requests quickly.
We are announcing a change to our procedures for requesting reconsideration following receipt of a Notice of Planned Action , also known as a Goldberg Kelly notice. This change is effective November 1, 2021.
SSI recipients who file a reconsideration request more than 15 days after the date of a NOPA, but within 65 days of the date of the NOPA, will receive unreduced benefits unless they waive it in writing. For these cases, we will find that there is good cause for the late filing of the request for unreduced benefits.
Your clients can find more information about our revised procedures at secure.ssa.gov/apps10/reference.nsf/links/10292021100254AM.
Holiday Local Social Security Office Closings
We want you to know that our offices and phone lines will be closed to the public on December 24 and 31. However, your clients can still access and use our automated telephone services or our online services every day during the holiday season.
Please visit for a list of our secure and convenient online services. Our lists automated telephone services available to your clients.
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Collins Senators Call For Social Security Offices To Reopen
PORTLAND, Maine A group of Republican senators including Sen. Susan Collins of Maine on Tuesday called on the Social Security Administration to reopen its field offices to the public.
Collins said the closure of the offices for more than 20 months has taken a toll on residents who need to access Social Security services. They said in a statement that the suspension created a disruption to the millions of new applicants and beneficiaries receiving Social Security benefits.
The administration stopped in-person operations at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The senators said the closure has been especially difficult for older residents in rural areas.
Collins was also among a larger group of senators that last month called on the federal Office of Personnel Management, General Services Administration and Office of Management and Budget to transition federal workers back to in-person work.
The Agency Has Unveiled A New ‘express Interview’ Process To Help People Apply For Original Or Replacement Social Security Cards And Submit Necessary Proof Of Identity In Person But It Encourages The Public To Continue To Submit Applications Online
- May 31, 2021
The Social Security Administration closed its field offices to the public in March 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic to protect its employees and the vulnerable elderly and disabled population they serve. Fourteen months later, the agency has unveiled a new express interview process to help individuals apply for original or replacement Social Security cards and submit necessary proof of identity in person.
But the majority of the public must continue to rely on the agencys revamped and expanded online services to apply for Social Security and Medicare benefits and to access related critical information, such as estimates of future benefits.
Social Security is a massive federal program that touches nearly every Americans life, whether its paying FICA taxes during their working years to fund benefits for current recipients or collecting disability, retirement or survivor benefits on their own earnings record or that of a spouse or parent.
Through the end of 2020, nearly 65 million people received disability, retirement, and survivor benefits. As of Dec. 31, approximately 88% of the population age 65 and older were receiving benefits.
In its emergency message last Thursday, the Social Security Administration said, This process was established to address the challenges the public has faced providing enumeration and documentary proofs during the Covid-19 pandemic.
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How Do I Apply For Supplemental Security Income For My Child While Offices Are Closed To Walk
Date: March 16, 2021
Applying for SSI for a child requires two steps completing the Application for SSI and the Child Disability Report. We encourage you to complete the Childhood Disability Report online. After you submit the report, a Social Security representative will call you within 3-5 business days and complete the application for SSI with you. You can find more information at .
Social Security Benefits Increase In 2022
Approximately 70 million Americans will see a 5.9% increase in their Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income payments in 2022. Federal benefit rates increase when the cost-of-living rises, as measured by the Department of Labors Consumer Price Index .
The CPI-W rises when inflation increases, leading to a higher cost-of-living. This change means prices for goods and services, on average, are more expensive, so the cost-of-living adjustment helps to offset these costs.
We will mail COLA notices throughout the month of December to retirement, survivors, and disability beneficiaries, SSI recipients, and representative payees. If you have clients who would like to know their new benefit amount sooner, they can securely obtain their Social Security COLA notices online using the Message Center at . They can access this information in early December prior to the mailed notice.
If your clients prefer to access their COLA notices online, they can opt out of a mailed COLA notice. They can do this with their personal mySocial Security account. By updating their Preferences in the Message Center, they can opt out of any other notices that are available online. They can also receive a text or email alert when there is a new message waiting for them. A person must have created their account by November 17, 2021 to receive the 2022 COLA notice online. Your clients can find more information about the 2022 COLA at www.ssa.gov/cola.
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What If I Need To Apply For A Replacement Ssn Card And My Only Option Is To Mail My Application And Identity Documentation Since I Need My Drivers License To Drive Is There An Alternative To Mailing My Dl State Identification Card Or Passport
Date: March 5, 2021
Usually, a SSN card applicant must submit the document with the highest quality for proving identity. We call this a primary identity document. In most cases, for a U.S. citizen, this is a State-issued drivers license. If the primary identity document is not available, we would then allow a person to submit an original secondary form of identity.
SSA is temporarily allowing people to mail in an original or certified secondary identity document with their paper Social Security Number application if they cannot request a replacement SSN card online. Acceptable secondary level identity documents must meet the rigorous document evaluation standards for authenticity, and have biographical data such as date of birth, age, etc.
Below are examples of primary and secondary level documents that are acceptable.
For a list of additional acceptable secondary level identity documents, see chart in RM 10210.420.
When Will Social Security Reopen To The Public
The Social Security Administration has not called employees back to their offices en masse, nor has the agency indicated when it might do so. Although other agencies have released their reopening plans, neither employees nor the unions that represent the SSA workforce have seen any kind of reopening plan from the agency, though they acknowledged it didnt mean SSA doesnt have one. The agency states that all Social Security facilities remain restricted to very limited, authorized personnel performing non-portable mission critical work. Read their article here
Notice: The first link provided above connects readers to the full content of the posted article. The URL for this link is valid on the posted date socialsecurityreport.org cannot guarantee the duration of the links validity. Also, the opinions expressed in these postings are the viewpoints of the original source and are not explicitly endorsed by AMAC, Inc. the AMAC Foundation, Inc. or socialsecurityreport.org.
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Collins Wants Social Security Offices Reopened To Public
WASHINGTON, D.C. Maine Sen. SusanCollins has joined a group of other Republican senators who are pushing the Social Security Administration to reopen its field offices to the public.
The offices have been closed for more than 20 months due to the pandemic, a move Collins said has created problems for people who need to access Social Security services.
In a statement, the group claimed the suspension of in-person operations created a disruption to the millions of new applicants and beneficiaries receiving Social Security benefits.
The senators said the closure has been especially difficult for older residents in rural areas.
Collins was also among a larger group of senators who called on other federal offices to transition workers back to in-person work last month.
What Do You Think Of Proposals To Permanently Close Ssa Offices
So now Id like to hear from you. Do you think closing most of the Social Security offices is a good idea? Id like to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
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Can I Enroll In Medicare
Date: January 28, 2021
If you enrolled in Medicare Part A and would like to enroll in Part B under the Special Enrollment Period , you can apply online at Apply for Medicare Part B Online during a Special Enrollment Period. You can upload your application and documents that verify your group health plan coverage through your employer.
You can also fax or mail your completed CMS-40B, Application for Enrollment in Medicare Part B and the CMS-L564, Request for Employment Information enrollment forms and evidence of employment to your local Social Security office. If you have questions, please contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 .
- State, I want Part B coverage to begin in the remarks section of the CMS-40B form or online application.
- If your employer is unable to complete Section B, please complete that portion as best as you can on behalf of your employer without your employers signature.
- Also, submit one of the following forms of secondary evidence:
- Income tax form that shows health insurance premiums paid.
- W-2s reflecting pre-tax medical contributions.
- Pay stubs that reflect health insurance premium deductions.
- Health insurance cards with a policy effective date.
- Explanations of benefits paid by the GHP or LGHP.
- Statements or receipts that reflect payment of health insurance premiums.