From working 7.5 years in SSA as a Benefit Authorizer, Claims Authorizer, Leadership Development Program to a beneficiary of disability, the biggest issue involves getting adequate customer service from field offices that can be accountable for their work. Filing my disability claim, my children were protected. However, filing for child benefits on my record, I have made three telephone appointments and all three weren't effective. I came into the office and talking to Claims Representatives about my claim fell on deaf ears, literally. The CR were obviously stressed out and upon bringing evidence, I was told to save the evidence for the February 25 appointment which is actually a. Telephone appointment. Sitting by the phone waiting 45 minutes and then calling to be transferred and put on hold only to find that they call while you're on hold results in a reschedule of the appointment - 2 months later. The lack of accountability in the front end concerns me greatly. Is there adequate SSA staff meeting the needs of customer service daily? Does one have to call and make a manager to manager request or call their congressperson or house representative to be pushed up front because the field offices are overwhelmed in certain areas? I had to resort to scheduling an physical appointment in another city because their scheduling allows earlier than April appointments. Four months of waiting...and now another two months. What happened to the 6 month close out? Timely service? It took being a beneficiary to see the issues that have yet to improve.
Proposing that policy, website or an app be developed to enable the beneficiary to provide all the necessary children information AT the time of filing, not after approving the disability claim. The separation of disability claim from children claim creates more work for the front and back end staff of SSA. All this would have ensure customer service is provided AND enable the employees of SSA to perform their work smarter, not harder. Please develop a special workgroup made up of employees that work from the front end and back end and invite actual beneficiaries to join.