Social Security Must Solve Long Lines: Legislators

What you need to know

  • In high-demand areas, many people had to wait more than six hours in nearly 100-degree weather to get help, Neal and Brady said.
  • In Florida, some people slept outside the night before to get a spot in line.
  • Lawmakers urged SSA to take additional action to meet the security needs of individuals seeking field office services.

Top lawmakers on the House Ways and Means Committee are urging Acting Social Security Commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi to explain the steps he is taking to tackle the long queues at some offices in the country – with some individuals “ slept at night and others passed out in the heat.

“After two years with field offices closed to most visitors, many people are in dire need of personal service,” Richard Neal, D-Mass., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and ranking member Kevin Brady, R-Texas , said in a letter Tuesday.

“However, due to COVID-19 security measures, capacity in air-conditioned waiting areas and at service windows has been reduced, and when offices reach capacity, visitors are queuing outside,” the lawmakers wrote.

The Social Security Administration is tasked with ensuring that visitors to SSA offices are “served effectively and safely and not have to queue outside in the summer heat in many parts of the country.”

Neal and Brady said that while they appreciate the efforts SSA has taken to accept in-person visits and reopen field offices to the public in April 2022, “in some locations, people have been standing outside in the heat for hours at a time, with no guarantee that they will their needs are met.”

Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Aging Committee Chair Bob Casey, D-Pa. -19 pandemic.

In their letter, Neal and Brady cite news reports that have highlighted how, “in high-demand areas, many people, some of whom are elderly or have a debilitating condition, have had to wait more than six hours in nearly 100-degree weather to get help. , and in some circumstances people have to come back for several days to get the service they need.”

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