The Baltimore Sun had an interesting story recently about how the Social Security Administration (SSA) is receiving pushback from a union that represents many employees who say that the agency may begin to minimize in-person help.
According to the newspaper, the SSA recently released a planning document that recommends an increase in the use of Internet-based service sites and video conferencing, rather than in-person hearings to determine benefit eligibility for items like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
The SSA said that this plan is intended to move the agency to online service that many other businesses offer. It said that it would help beneficiaries avoid lines. “We have to use the technology that’s available to us,” Carolyn W. Colvin, the agency’s acting commissioner, said in an interview, according to the Sun. “We know that there are the realities of the budget, and [that’s] going to require us to continue services in the most efficient manner.”
However, the American Federation of Government Employees has said that the push towards online services could lead to a reduction in the number of SSA field offices. Additionally, it says that the services the SSA offers are far different from other businesses, as they offer legal decisions. Given the aging Baby Boomer population, the group says that the number of field offices should be expanding.
It will be very interesting to see how the SSA balances emerging technologies with in-service customer care. Keep in mind, last fall, we reported that the agency receives about 4 million requests for benefit verifications at individual field offices. This is an astronomical amount of requests for in-person assistance.
How Can SSDI Help Me?
We will continue to monitor developments when it comes to field office news. If you are interested in collecting SSDI, you can visit our Social Security FAQ page to read about requirements. Additionally, you can use the form on the side of this page to find out how our disability attorneys can help you.
SSDI helps millions of Americans who can no longer work due to disabilities by providing them with a source of income. These benefits are vital for people who cannot make ends meet. Follow our social media pages for more information about Social Security news.
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