January 26,2022

Press Contact:

Taylor Harvey (202) 224-4515 

Wyden and Casey Lead Call for Update on Social Security Field Office Services

Senators Request Details on In-Person Assistance, Simplifying Applications, and Improving Service

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Senate Aging Committee Chair Bob Casey (D-PA) along with 15 senators, called on the Social Security Administration (SSA) to provide an update on its efforts to improve field office services for beneficiaries amid the continuing challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“SSA has a responsibility and a duty to provide timely and quality service to the public, whether it is provided online, via telephone, or in-person,” the senators wrote. “COVID-19 has amplified and exacerbated gaps in service for all. We write to request an update on the Social Security Administration’s efforts to improve service delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic, and efforts to modernize its business processes going forward.” 

In the letter, sent to Acting Commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi, the senators called on the agency to outline the steps it is taking to ensure those who need in-person service are able to receive it, including details on the appointment system and drop boxes for original documents that need to be reviewed. Last week, SSA announced an agreement with labor unions representing the agency’s workforce about a reentry plan beginning as early as March 30th.

The letter also noted the substantial dip in applications for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and asked the agency how they are working to address this shortfall.

In addition to Wyden and Casey, the letter was signed by Sens. Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ben Cardin (D-MA), Tom Carper (D-DE), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Mark Warner (D-VA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV).

Last year, the Finance Committee held a hearing to review field office service at SSA.

The full letter can be found here.