For Oregon residents who have had to spend time waiting at a Social Security office waiting to have face time with an employee, the wait can be seemingly endless. People who depend on Social Security benefits often don’t have flexible schedules or easy access to transportation. Traveling a long way or for a long time is just made worse when backlogs at government offices take up even more of people’s time — and there is hardly a guarantee that the issue they are visiting about will be resolved.
It might seem at times that the agency is oblivious to the technological challenges it faces that often contribute to — or cause — processing delays. However, there are several ongoing initiatives to change this. Chief among them is an updated customer-intake process. Rather than going through separate computer servers at individual offices throughout the United States, the new system is Web-based — meaning it is centralized and is expected to operate faster.
Additionally, other customer-friendly modifications have been made; these include having touch-screen monitors put in use as well as monitors that display wait times for people who are waiting, not unlike what some driver license and DMV stations have.
Another process that has been rolled out is an application looking at Social Security disability claims that had not yet been fully processed but that had been decided; moving along these cases has saved much time and money as well.
Of course, these innovations won’t cure all the SSA’s ills. People who are struggling with their applications or benefits might still wish to consult with a Social Security disability insurance benefits attorney.
Source: The Washington Post, “Devising IT solutions to make Social Security more customer-friendly,” Aug. 13, 2013