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SSD and Other Statistics from the Social Security Administration

The Social Security Administration (SSA) releases statistics about beneficiaries every month. Did you know that the agency also prepares statistics about its operations? The numbers for October 2014, released last month, paint the following picture of the agency. 

Fewer Staff

Not only does the agency produce statistical data about benefit recipients, but it also information about who works at the agency. For example, as of September 30, 2013, there were 59,823 employees in the Social Security Administration, the lowest number since 1995.

Fewer Phone Calls, Longer Waits

The SSA once did much of its business over the telephone. However, since 2006, the number of calls received on the 800 number (1-800-772-1213) has declined from 91,800,000 in 2006 to 79,000,000 in 2012, reflecting the increase in email, Internet use and other electronic communication mediums. It means that beneficiaries and applicants must wait on the telephone much longer than before. Moreover, since simple questions can now be answered online, many of the calls to the SSA are much more complex, requiring beneficiaries and applicants to make multiple calls and spend even more time waiting.

Declining in Key Areas

The Social Security Administration is listed as the sixth best place to work among large agencies in the federal government by the website Best Places to Work in the Federal Government. However, in several key metrics that affect the public, the agency appears to be going in the wrong direction. For example:

  • Senior leadership effectiveness has its lowest ranking since 2003 and is ranked eighth out of 19 similar federal agencies.
  • Matching employee skills with the mission of the agency is ranked at its lowest value since 2005 and is ranked sixth out 19 similar federal agencies.
  • The ranking for innovation is at its lowest since this was first measured in 2010. However, compared to similar federal agencies, it is ranked relatively high - 14th out of 18 agencies.

The fact that these metrics appear to be on the decline, just when they need to be improving, does not bode well for people applying for SSD and other benefits.

What these numbers do not reveal is how many people have difficulty when trying to obtain Social Security Disability benefits. Other statistics show that the majority of SSD applications are turned down initially. Disabled workers must resort to the cumbersome appeals and review processes. If your initial claim was turned down, do what so many others have done: Call Binder & Binder®, America's most successful Social Security Disability advocates, Tell them your story and find out how they can help.

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