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Old 06-03-2013, 03:05 PM
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Social Security Administration Office Hours - They make bankers proud

My local SSA office hours:

9:00 AM - 3:00 PM on weekdays, with the exception of Wednesdays, when they are only open 9:00AM -12:00PM*.

Well, I suppose if they stayed open later they would probably run out of funds by 2027 instead of 2035**.


* I know it has nothing to do with furloughs, it has been that way for years.
** I don't plan on ever receiving a cent back from them. I assume that by the time I retire the benefits will be so stringently means-tested that my years of responsible frugality and saving-for-the-future will disqualify me.
Old 06-03-2013, 03:58 PM
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I had to go to get my name changed after I got married. First time went fine - only, they double listed my maiden name (now my second middle name.) So Zsofia Jane Doe Doe Smith.

Well, that can't possibly be such a big deal, right? I went by the office to get it fixed but it was INSANE. People sitting out in the hallway. So I went home and called them. An hour on the phone later I got a guy who was very nice and tried very hard for me but couldn't fix it over the phone despite asking several supervisors. Even though it was obviously a clerical error.

Went another day, people in the halls again. I asked the security guard if there's a best time to go, and he told me to show up just before 3. What happens is, they lock the doors then and go through who's left. I did that and got in and out in half an hour. On my fourth trip plus lengthy phone call. (Did I mention the waiting room is not really air conditioned?)

They made the DMV look like a goddamned paradise, indeed.

ETA - and, mind you, this was me making it easier for THEM to find ME to take my money. Not for me to get any actual benefit from them. Which, frankly, I do not expect ever to be able to do.

Last edited by Zsofia; 06-03-2013 at 03:59 PM.
Old 06-03-2013, 05:51 PM
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Location: Conway, PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermitian View Post
My local SSA office hours:

9:00 AM - 3:00 PM on weekdays, with the exception of Wednesdays, when they are only open 9:00AM -12:00PM*.

Well, I suppose if they stayed open later they would probably run out of funds by 2027 instead of 2035**.


* I know it has nothing to do with furloughs, it has been that way for years.
** I don't plan on ever receiving a cent back from them. I assume that by the time I retire the benefits will be so stringently means-tested that my years of responsible frugality and saving-for-the-future will disqualify me.
Bolding mine.

This is a recent change (within the last year or so) that has resulted in "doing more with less" as the amount of employees at local field offices has been shrunk using attrition. I work at ODAR (handles disability hearings), but we receive Commissioner broadcasts all the same. Contacting the FOs on Wednesdays is a pretty tricky proposition a lot of the time.

It has not been that way for years. Closing early to the public on Wednesday is relatively recent as I stated.

In the past several years, staff has been cut at these offices drastically through attrition. I've heard horror stories of FO employees. They are largely overworked and in some cases have to utilize OT (if available) just to keep up with their workload. Call wait times are increasing, lines in the waiting room are increasing, and there are no signs of that stopping anytime soon.

Last edited by elninost0rm; 06-03-2013 at 05:54 PM.
Old 06-03-2013, 06:31 PM
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I went in for a name change. In this particular office, there are two service windows and approximately 60 chairs in the waiting room. All chairs were filled, and people were being yelled at to stand on the RIGHT side of the room, not the LEFT side, for some reason. It was 11am. The two windows were unmanned when I arrived, and remained so for 35 minutes as the room filled up. Finally, the security guard got pissed at having to yell at so many people to cram into one half of the room, so she called the manager's office. That brought the two clerks back out front, but then they argued with the manager for another ten minutes before dealing with any of us.

I felt like I was in a sitcom.
Old 06-03-2013, 06:50 PM
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Huh, I guess I lucked out. I've been in and out of the SS office 3 times this year in under 15 minutes. Twice to replaced my card, and once for identity theft issues.
Old 06-03-2013, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elninost0rm View Post

It has not been that way for years. Closing early to the public on Wednesday is relatively recent as I stated.
I will admit (or at least assume) you are correct. I do specifically remember the tiny window of office hours from years ago, but I have no recollection if Wednesday was shorter or not.
Old 06-03-2013, 10:32 PM
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You realize that almost every bank is now open until 5 Monday through Thursday, until 6 on Fridays, and often from 9-1 on Saturdays? Social Security is doing bankers one better!

I still remember going with my 16-year-old to get a replacement Social Security card for her (my fault - I misplaced it when she was a toddler). She didn't have a driver's license yet, but I brought her birth certificate, her school picture ID, my driver's license, my passport, my last tax return (which had her SSN on it), and her latest bank statement, which at the time also listed her SSN.

After we took a number and waited for 45 minutes, the nice lady at the window told us that we would need to get her a state-issued ID card. I asked how we could do that, and she told me to take her to an MVD office to get an official New Mexico ID. She acknowledged that they would issue that ID based on the documents that she had just rejected as insufficient identification, but there was nothing she could do about it. So we got the best of both worlds - a trip to the Social Security office, then one to MVD, and then another one back to Social Security. Luckily, I wasn't working full-time, so I had the leisure.
Old 06-03-2013, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InternetLegend View Post
After we took a number and waited for 45 minutes, the nice lady at the window told us that we would need to get her a state-issued ID card. I asked how we could do that, and she told me to take her to an MVD office to get an official New Mexico ID.
I was once in line at the BMV (Ohio) behind a person who was told that he couldn't get ID from them unless he first went to the Social Security office to get a new card.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 06-03-2013 at 11:13 PM.
Old 06-04-2013, 12:59 AM
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Can I ask the OP what it is he feels should be done? Is he suggesting we increase the Social Service Administration budget so they can hire more employees and keep longer hours?

Or is this more like a "I never imagined that those reductions in government spending I've been calling for would result in a reduction of government services" thread?
Old 06-04-2013, 07:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
Can I ask the OP what it is he feels should be done? Is he suggesting we increase the Social Service Administration budget so they can hire more employees and keep longer hours?
Am I unreasonable? My employer and I only give them 12.4% of my salary. All I ask is for a one cent card with an ink number stamped on it!

How to fix the SSA trust fund problems in two words: Death Panels!


Seriously, there is enough issues with SSA and the disability system to fill three great debate threads. I just want to complain. Can a man just complain?
Old 06-04-2013, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
Can I ask the OP what it is he feels should be done? Is he suggesting we increase the Social Service Administration budget so they can hire more employees and keep longer hours?

Or is this more like a "I never imagined that those reductions in government spending I've been calling for would result in a reduction of government services" thread?
That's kind of my beef. So many people are all about it until they have to wait an extra hour to get a replacement card at their local office.

Ox being gored, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermitian View Post
Am I unreasonable? My employer and I only give them 12.4% of my salary. All I ask is for a one cent card with an ink number stamped on it!

How to fix the SSA trust fund problems in two words: Death Panels!


Seriously, there is enough issues with SSA and the disability system to fill three great debate threads. I just want to complain. Can a man just complain?
Complain away! Heck, I hear enough of it around here as it is from employees themselves.

Last edited by elninost0rm; 06-04-2013 at 10:03 AM.
Old 06-05-2013, 05:15 AM
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There is an obvious solution that doesn't require more hours. Don't bother being open during the day when most people can't come. It's the same advice I give shops with lousy hours. I'm not saying you have to be open super late, but at least be reasonable for people who work during the day. Being open, say, from 12PM - 6 PM would be a lot more useful.
Old 06-05-2013, 07:06 AM
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Of course the vast majority of things folk go to SSA offices for can be done - or in-office time shortened - by using the on-line tools or the toll free line.

But complain away. SSA is in the enviable position where essentially everyone can complain about some aspect of what they do. A convenient target. Your taxes are too high. The wait was too long. The hours to short. My COLA too small. My disability claim was denied. I'm a "gap" baby. Etc. ad infinitum.

You waited in an office for an hour or 2, and came away with a bad impression. I've worked here for 25 years, and am regularly impressed at the incredible job done by so many employees - many of whom are not terribly highly paid - administering an enormous and terribly complex system.
Old 06-05-2013, 07:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigT View Post
There is an obvious solution that doesn't require more hours. Don't bother being open during the day when most people can't come. It's the same advice I give shops with lousy hours. I'm not saying you have to be open super late, but at least be reasonable for people who work during the day. Being open, say, from 12PM - 6 PM would be a lot more useful.
But that only goes so far. A huge amount of the workforce is in customer service. If they all worked 12-6 then none of them could go to the new office hours.
Old 06-05-2013, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Or is this more like a "I never imagined that those reductions in government spending I've been calling for would result in a reduction of government services" thread?
This is largely irrelevant considering this is, and has been, the case for most public-facing state and local government agencies since before I was born.

If you don't want to throw more warm bodies and hours at the issue, running split shifts or a single shift from noon -> seven would be a significant improvement over what we have now, which is only convenient for the unemployed.

Last edited by Obnoxious Hood Ornament; 06-05-2013 at 07:43 AM. Reason: Wrong tagging
Old 06-05-2013, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinsdale View Post
Of course the vast majority of things folk go to SSA offices for can be done - or in-office time shortened - by using the on-line tools or the toll free line.

But complain away. SSA is in the enviable position where essentially everyone can complain about some aspect of what they do. A convenient target. Your taxes are too high. The wait was too long. The hours to short. My COLA too small. My disability claim was denied. I'm a "gap" baby. Etc. ad infinitum.

You waited in an office for an hour or 2, and came away with a bad impression. I've worked here for 25 years, and am regularly impressed at the incredible job done by so many employees - many of whom are not terribly highly paid - administering an enormous and terribly complex system.
Maybe the routine stuff, but all the "one visit" things can't. Most of the people I know (working adults) who have to go to the SSA have to go in and it's for things like name changes. And if there's an obvious clerical error then go fuck yourself back on down to the office, honey. Why?
Old 06-05-2013, 09:13 AM
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A lot of public offices here have a "long day" and a "short day" every week. So, 9-3 monday, tuesday, wednesday, 9-6 thursday, 9-12 friday, or something. Thursdays are crazy, but there you go.
Old 06-05-2013, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zsofia View Post
Maybe the routine stuff, but all the "one visit" things can't. Most of the people I know (working adults) who have to go to the SSA have to go in and it's for things like name changes. And if there's an obvious clerical error then go fuck yourself back on down to the office, honey. Why?
I don't know that I have ever needed to go into a SS office. And how many times do most folk change their names? But sure, they made a clerical error in your case, so office hours nationwide should be changed. Makes sense to me.

I've got no objection to office hours being more flexible as you and others suggest. Of course, I'll suggest there would be administrative costs involved in maintaining flexible schedules for a workforce such as SSA's. I'll also go out on a limb and suggest that anything short of 24/7 will have SOMEONE bitching that it is not sufficiently convenient for them. But we'll take care of you first, and then make whatever changes are needed to satisfy the next few million folk who would prefer things differently.

Heck - I get it. You had a less than optimal experience with the biggest US bureaucracy, getting you second middle name right. Such things suck. Bitch away!
Old 06-05-2013, 03:53 PM
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No, they should have fixed it on the phone!

ETA - I took off work four times for this, by the way, for something which benefits me not at all. I imagine you'd be ticked off too.

Last edited by Zsofia; 06-05-2013 at 03:54 PM.
Old 06-05-2013, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinsdale View Post
I don't know that I have ever needed to go into a SS office. And how many times do most folk change their names? But sure, they made a clerical error in your case, so office hours nationwide should be changed. Makes sense to me...
I know one 22 yr. old guy who had to clock out in the middle of his shift because HR discovered during some kind of audit that the SSA had him listed as female. He had to go to the office in person and get it corrected before he would work again. And no he didn't have to drop his pants in front of the clerk or get a medical exam. He just had to fill out an affidavit.
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Old 06-06-2013, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigT View Post
There is an obvious solution that doesn't require more hours. Don't bother being open during the day when most people can't come. It's the same advice I give shops with lousy hours. I'm not saying you have to be open super late, but at least be reasonable for people who work during the day. Being open, say, from 12PM - 6 PM would be a lot more useful.
Oh man, don't get me started. The town I live in has a town-wide listserv that residents use to chat about things related to the town - living there, shopping, new restaurants, etc.

On a regular basis I read complaints from shopkeepers that folks aren't shopping enough in town, that people are going instead to big-box stores. Everytime I have bothered to look up their store, I find they keep "Mommy hours" - open at 10am, close at 6pm, often closed on weekends. I am all for shopkeepers keeping the hours that they prefer - it's their shop - but when they keep hours that prevent people with 9-5 jobs from shopping there, I have a hard time feeling sympathy for their lack of business.
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