Social Security Administration offices have remained closed since March of 2020, and now, two years later, they will finally be reopening this month.
The agency is currently facing major backlog issues, similar to the IRS, due to the pandemic and staffing issues. Many are hoping that reopening the physical offices will resolve many of these issues. Despite the offices closing, the SSA did not stop functioning.
In person appointments have been available for people in critical situations in need of assistance. If someone found themselves with no food or shelter, they could make an appointment to get help immediately.
Social Security’s backlogs and reopening of offices
Most of the work done by the Social Security Administration for the last two years has been by phone, email, or mail.
This means administrative issues have come about. Only 51% of calls were answered in 2021, according to Forbes and The Sun. After an investigation was completed by the Office of the Inspector General, it was found policies were not in place.
This was because there were not strong policies surround the tracking and returning original documents, which they themselves require. Documents being mishandled included passports, driver’s licenses, and birth certificates. The hope is that Congress gives funding to not only reopen the offices, but provide better service to the public.