In an effort to make life just a little bit easier for everyone, technology continues to advance by leaps and bounds, especially in the area of consumer services. In an ostensible effort to cut long lines and save taxpayer dollars, the Social Security Administration (SSA) now offers the bulk of their services online. For most people, this means they will have no need to travel to a Social Security office, and “services” will be available 24 hours a day every day. Most consumers applaud the ability to connect with Social Security online, but the website does raise several concerns that should be addressed.
In an online article titled “Not Your Grandma’s Social Security Office,” Tom Margenau, who is retired after 32 years as an SSA employee, writes that SSA has grown too dependent on web services and is not training current employees to provide skilled and efficient services to customers. When Margenau went to work for the SSA, he endured six weeks of comprehensive classroom training. Training for new SSA employees is now much shorter and mostly online.
Another concern is reduced access. The reliance on web services means that some SSA offices are closing and other are reducing days and hours. Such plans may be cost-effective, but any decline in customer service or access needs to be reversed. As the “boomer” generation ages and the number of those receiving Social Security disability benefits grows, SSA probably needs to be offering more access rather than less.
If you’ve been disabled and you are no longer able to work for any reason, an experienced Social Security disability attorney may be able to help you gain access to disability benefits. A good disability lawyer will evaluate your disability and will help you with the forms and documents that the SSA requires. He or she will fight for your rights. If you are applying to receive Social Security disability benefits, or even if you are only wondering if you qualify, speak to an experienced disability attorney as quickly as possible.